Visakhapatnam: The doctors of King George Hospital refused to conduct a clinical trial of a ventilator assembled at Andhra Med Tech Zone (AMTZ) claiming it had no proper censors and did not meet the specifications set by the Central government-appointed panel.
The chief of anesthesia, Dr A. Satyanarayana, said, "We have asked them to bring full-fledged equipment for the trials and the zone representatives have agreed to it. They took back the equipment.’’
No AMTZ representative was available for comment.
In view of the high demand for ventilators during the COVID-19 pandemic and the failure to procure them from foreign countries under the present conditions, the state government had hoped that AMTZ would meet the demand.
The Central government had made an agreement with AMTZ for the manufacture and assembly of ventilators as the demand for the equipment had gone up all over the world due to the Corona virus pandemic. A high-end imported ventilator costs around Rs. 15 lakh while a standard one costs Rs. 7 lakh. The AMTZ managers had assured the Central government that they would supply ventilators for Rs. 2 lakh each. It was also agreed that the zone would assemble 50 ventilators a day.
"Around 70 per cent of the ventilators in the country are imported and the zone had agreed to supply a good number of ventilators at a low price,’’ Dr. Satyanarayana said, adding a ventilator had been sent to New Delhi for testing and one was brought to KGH.
This is the first time the equipment was sent for a clinical trial. Earlier, a technical trial had been conducted within the zone premises and it had proved successful. The Central government had authorised King George Hospital to conduct a clinical trial and approve the equipment before starting production on a large-scale. A KGH team had also visited AMTZ recently to inspect the assembling process.