Myanmar government purchase 100,000 pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) from local factory30 Mar 2020
The government of Myanmar signed an agreement to purchase 100,000 pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) equipment to be used by healthcare workers in the fight to contain the COVID-19 virus, a senior government official says.
U Hein Htet, secretary of the Industrial Supervisory Committee of Bago Region, said the contract was signed between the Ministry of Health and Sports and bought Cobes Industries Myanmar Co Ltd on Wednesday. Cobes Industries is a Hong Kong-based company that has a subsidiary in Bago Region.
“The company is selling the 100,000 pieces of PPE to the government at only the cost of their labour and they are even bearing the cost of the raw materials to make the equipment,” said U Hein Htet.
Cobes has the only factory that makes PPE in Myanmar, and its products are exported to EU countries. As it is a classified as a garment manufacturing business, it is not allowed to sell its products locally, but the purchase was made through direct negotiations because of the country’s needs right now, said U Hein Htet.
The union government, regional government and the Chinese embassy negotiated to bring about the deal following the emergence of the SARS CoV 2 virus that causes the COVID-19 disease in Myanmar.
The virus has so far infected nearly 500,000 people around the world and killed 21,000. As a result of the pandemic, even more developed countries have suffered severe shortages of PPE for healthcare workers trying to stop the spread of the disease.
“The company is also stopping the exports of its goods for now and is making PPE for the emergency situation in Myanmar,” he said.
Cobes has the capacity to make 5000 pieces of PPE a day, and Myanmar will get its first shipment of 20,000 items by April 9.
Hong Kong-based Cobes Industries Co Ltd obtained approval from the Myanmar Investment Commission in November 2017, and set up its factory at a cost of US$2.2 million.
Similarly, the Ministry of Health and Sports is also negotiating a possible purchase of operation theatre equipment with South Korean company KM Healthcare, said Daw Hnin Yu Yu Kyaw, a spokesperson for KM Healthcare.
“We can’t sell directly because we are categorised as a garment manufacturer, so, we are negotiating with the government, which has indicated that it would like to make it happen,” she said. – Translated
(The Myanmar Times: https://www.mmtimes.com/news/g