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India will be able to produce RT-PCR testing kits by May end

Health Minister, Dr. Harsh Vardhan appreciated the efforts of DBT that will help India in becoming self-reliant in the production of RT-PCR and antibody testing kits.

Apr 29, 2020 12:48 IST
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Union Health Minister, Harsh Vardhan on April 28 announced that India will be able to produce its own RT-PCR (Reverse Transaction Polymerase Chain Reaction) and anti-body testing kits by May end.

The Health Minister stated that these kits will enable the labs to conduct one lakh tests in a day. He further added that out of half a dozen companies who were supported for vaccines, four are in an advanced stage and the regulatory body has been constituted for speedy clearance.

The Union minister through a video conference also reviewed various initiates taken by the Department of Biotechnology to combat COVID-19 pandemic.

Key Highlights:

Harsh Vardhan who is also Science and Technology minister appreciated scientists who have been working on drugs, medical equipment, and vaccines to speed up their work.

As testing is one of the key elements for fighting COVID-19, the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) stopped rapid testing last week after it showed satisfactory results.

Union minister also released a hand sanitizer that was developed by Biologicals Corporation Ltd. and Bharat Immunologicals, another PSU of DBT that is engaged in developing various pharmaceuticals, biological, and food products.

The PSU’s are also currently manufacturing the formulations of Vitamin C and Zinc tablets that will contribute towards the solution for COVID-19.

Initiatives to tackle COVID-19 by Department of Biotechnology:

Secretary of Department of Biotechnology, Renu Swarup mentioned that the department has come up with multi-pronged research strategies and an action plan for immediate response. She also informed that the department has been working for the long term preparedness to fight COVID-19.

The efforts planned by the department included suitable animal testing for COVID-19 as well as research towards the development of therapeutics. There has also been planning for genomic studies on the host and pathogen as well as the development of indigenous diagnostics.

The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) also made an announcement regarding COVID-19 Research Consortium Call to support the novel therapeutics, vaccines, diagnostics, repurposing of drugs or any other kind of intervention to combat COVID-19. BIRAC is a Public Sector Undertaking of DBT.

Health Minister, Dr. Harsh Vardhan appreciated the efforts of DBT that will help India in becoming self-reliant in the production of RT-PCR and antibody testing kits.

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