Covid-19 prevention stuff is frequently released from the shelves of the Government e-Marketplace (GeM), the central government’s e-procurement portal reaching gross sales until ₹400 crores. UP and Delhi State Governments are the leading state-level governments making most purchases at portal price ₹105 crores and ₹75 crores sequentially. This bulk purchase majorly includes alcohol-based hand sanitizers, masks, PPFs, flooring cleaners as well as surgical gloves from nearly 17,000 sellers.
The last two weeks portrays the highest figure of purchase done by the State Governments from the GeM portal till price worth ₹67 lakh. The virtuous response inspired the GeM portal for the value management and thus initiating the ‘infrastructure classes’ to the portal related with Covid-19 that can signify the Anti-COVID kit sale for arranging ICU wards, isolation wards and victims of subtle symptoms and basic amenities for COVID hospitals.
The Union Health Ministry furthermore has insisted states for the conventional purchase of PPEs (Personal protective equipment) solely from the dealers on-boarded with the GeM portal and also the PPE transmitted by the center.
The GeM portal has shortened the procurement cycle for anti-COVID items thereby minimizing the bid cycle for these items from ten days to three days. It opened a great option for buyers to have a reduced delivery period. GeM portal has prioritized the product and brand approval for the sellers coming under COVID-19 categories.
After seeing the excessive struggle of few states to obtain PPE supplies, a need emerges for simplifying the process of procurement of anti-COVID items and PPE for states and central institutions. There are a huge number of suppliers getting on-boarded on the GeM portal after getting their products approved by the Government. Any Government entity is allowed to obtain PPE from them.
This process is desired to be a faster procurement procedure unlike other processes requiring tenders issue. Each supplier registered with the GeM has qualified all quality standards prescribed by the Ministry of Health and is allotted a uniform certification code. It is quite unfortunate that the COVID-19 virus is shattering the medical system worldwide. There is huge demand arising for such PPE (Personal Protection Equipment).
The current global supply of PPE seems short, specifically for the PPEs like masks and respirators. The shortage also has been noticed for gowns and goggles. Falsification, terror for buying early, and storage are going to create an additional shortage of PPE worldwide. Limited capacity for expanding PPE production is unable to meet exceeding demand for respirators and masks, particularly in most prevailing misuse of PPE.