A medical device maker warned on Friday about likely shortages of needles and syringes after a government agency directed its Faridabad factory, among other manufacturing units, to shut down, citing poor air quality in the National Capital Region.
Hindustan Syringes and Medical Devices said it had shut down production at its 11-acre complex in Ballabgarh-Faridabad after the Haryana pollution control board at the behest of the Centre’s air quality management commission asked 228 manufacturing units in the area to stop operations.
“A health crisis may loom — syringes are already running short in India and worldwide,” said Rajiv Nath, HMD’s managing director and coordinator of the Association of Indian Medical Device Industry.
HMD contributes to 66 per cent of syringes supplied in India for healthcare and immunisation.
Nath said the company which produced on average 15 million needles and 8 million syringes daily was “politely asked” to stop operations. “As we cannot feed needles beyond two days of buffer stock from Monday, other factories fed by the mother unit will be shut. We don’t know when we can open.”
The air quality over Delhi deteriorated on Friday from “poor” to “very poor” category, largely because of weather conditions — clouds and low wind speeds.
A Central science agency has forecast that air quality will further degrade due to low wind speeds from Dec 12 to 14.
AIMED on Friday wrote to the Prime Minister’s Office and other central government departments, requesting that needles and syringes used in healthcare be classified under the national disaster management act as a product of national importance to ensure uninterrupted production.
“Any disruption in the supply chain can lead to a bigger national crisis,” AIMED wrote in the letter.
Most HMD factories run on environment-friendly piped-natural-gas, while its smaller plants rely on diesel generator sets as backup when grid power is not available.
The company has said power tripping are rare and the factory largely runs on grid power or PNG.