More than one million masks to be withheld in India

Plus d’un million de masques retenus en Inde

Photo: Darryl Dick, The canadian Press
These masks for use in sanitary and industrial have been ordered by the canadian technology of Protective Industrial Products, whose head office is in Laval.

Nearly a million and a half of masks that could be used in the network of the health are stuck in containers in India for the month of February. These masks for use in sanitary and industrial have been ordered by the canadian technology, Protective Industrial Products (PIP), whose head office is located in Laval. The company has about 500 distributors across the country to the other.

“Expected after [the masks], but the indian government has closed its borders and retains all the equipment of respiratory protection,” explained the vice-president of sales and marketing for PIP Canada, Sylvain Lefebvre, in an interview to the Duty. “There is only one plant in India which manufactures respirators [certified], and it is sure that with this happening so much in their country as in ours, the government has put hands on it and does not want to release anything. “

The government of Narendra Modi has blocked exports of equipment for health protection, such as N95 masks, at the end of the month of January after the detection of the first case official of infection with the coronavirus on the indian territory.



The command PIP Canada had been placed at Venus Health and Safety, their usual supplier in India. The company had even paid a deposit of approximately $ 400,000. Mr. Lefebvre therefore expected to receive eight containers of N95 masks certified — useful for protecting the health personnel — as well as masks, P95 and P100, which are used primarily in the industrial field, in particular for spray painting and decontamination of asbestos. “The first of the eight [containers] had to take off to be with us in mid-march, he told. In mid-February, we received an email from them telling us that it would go to the end of February, to finally be told that their government had halted the container at the port. Since that time, we try to have our containers, but it is not capable of. “

However, the company fails to provide to the application. It is estimated to have sold over half a million of masks in a few days when the first cases of the COVID-19 have made their appearance in the country. “It took 48 hours and all our stocks of respirators N95 have been completely liquidated, the P95, and P100 as well,” said Mr. Lefebvre.

It has appealed to the federal government through its mp and has recently received a response by e-mail of the High commission of Canada in New Delhi, asking him for more information. “I know that there are talks, said Mr. Lefebvre. But he said to me : “I can’t guarantee you, but if it frees up so much the better”. “

“I have good hope that, on the one side or the other, we will either have our money or to have one or two containers that will be released “, he added.

The question of restrictions imposed by the ministry of Trade indian exports of key products for the health care has recently been raised by the canadian minister of foreign Affairs, François-Philippe Champagne, and the minister of international Trade, Mary Ng, during phone calls. “Canada requests that these export restrictions are resolved as quickly as possible and that a process that is transparent and predictable is put in place,” said the press secretary of Mrs. Ng, Ryan Nearing, adding that Canada must continue to work with India on a ” coordinated approach to resolve global issues of supply and demand “.

Made in Quebec

Meanwhile, PIP Canada wonders if she should launch out in the manufacture of masks in its Laval plant. “We realize that it would be far better to invest in the equipment and begin to produce them here,” said Mr. Lefebvre. All the more that the minister of the Economy, Pierre Fitzgibbon, said there is a little more than a week, the quebec government was going to put the emphasis on the “local supply” in the future. The leaders of PIP Canada must also meet Monday to discuss the issue.

It is, however, a long-term project, since it could take up to ten months to come to fruition. It is necessary first to order the machines required to assemble the masks, and find a manufacturer of filters in compliance. The last step would be to seek certification for the N95 masks from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, a u.s. federal agency dedicated to the prevention of occupational accidents and occupational diseases, which can take several months.

PIP Canada already manufactures protective equipment such as visors and door visors. It also wants to transform its production chain of a product anti-fog for the manufacture of alcohol-based hand sanitizer alcohol-based.

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