TODAY -

On the trail of soiled face masks: Store raided
Pollution masks supplied in lieu of N-90 masks
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, April 17 2020: The Vigilance and Anti Corruption personnel today raided and seized masks kept at the central medical store of Medical Directorate.

The masks were supplied by different agencies and were meant for distribution in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak across the world.

According to sources, Mission Director of the State Health Society, Ningthoujam Geoffery asked M/S Blue Sky Services and some other agencies to procure essential items for the fight against COVID-19 .



Pollution masks supplied in lieu of N-90 masks
Pollution masks supplied in lieu of N-90 masks


M/S Blue Sky Services was asked to procure triple layer masks, N-95 face masks, hand gloves (6.5 and 7.5), hand sanitisers and PPE for Rs 3,38,55,975 (Rs Three crore, thirty eight lakh, fifty five thousand and nine hundred and seventy five) by the State Mission Director.

Altogether 1,90,000 three layer masks, 29150 N-95 face masks, 42,250 gloves (both 6.5 and 7.0), 5449 bottles of hand sanitisers and 5820 PPE were asked to be supplied.

The total number of three layer masks were to be supplied at the rate of Rs 24 per unit, N-90 masks at the rate of Rs 450 per mask, hand gloves at Rs 21.30 per unit, hand sanitisers at the rate of Rs 450 per unit and PPE kits at the rate of Rs 5820 per unit.

The items were to be delivered to the office of the State Mission Director within 7 days of receipt of order and the payment is to be made within 15 days of delivery.

It was also laid down that the shelf life of the supplied items should not be less than 18 months.

Accordingly the State Health Society received 35,8000 triple layer masks, 45,100 N-95 masks, 1,22, 650 hand gloves, 32,107 hand sanitisers, 91 sprayers, 140 non contact thermometer and 16,520 PPE from 7 different agencies including M/s Dev Medical Store, Imphal, M/s Eastern Afro and Chemicals Imphal, Nim Pharmaceuticals Guwahati, on April 12.Sources said that from the supplied items, around 1000 masks were circulated to different district hospital and on April 15 around 200 masks out of the 1000 circulated masks sent for healthcare workers of Churachandpur district hospital were found with fungus prompting the State Health Department to replace the soiled masks the same day.

It has also come to light that instead of the prescribed N-95 masks, pollution masks which has a price of only Rs 30 per mask were brought.

Fortunately the said pollution masks were yet to be distributed under the tag of N-95 face masks, said the source further.

Further, the said pollution masks were manufactured in May 2017, which has already crossed the stipulated regulation that the supplied goods should have a shelf life of at least 18 months.

A team of State Vigilance and Anti Corruption personnel visited the store where the items have been kept after registering a case and seized some masks and other items from the store of State Health Society of the Health Directorate.

On the other hand a press release issued by SP Vigilance and Anti Corruption said that after conducting a thorough verification of the substandard N-95 masks sent to District Hospital, Churachandpur an FIR has been registered under section 120-B r/w 13(1) (a) Prevention of Corruption Act against some officials of Medical Directorate and proprietors of five firms and unknown others for further investigation.

The statement added that at around 12 noon today, a special team of Vigilance and Anti Corruption carried out a raid at central medical store of the Medical Directorate at Lamphel and seized 1250 N-95 masks including the suspected substandard masks which were supplied to District Hospital Chura-chandpur and samples of other protective gears for further investigation.


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