Covid-19 Testing Kits In India – India To Be Self Reliant In Covid-19 Kits
Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Science & Technology, Health & Family Welfare and Earth Sciences reviewed various initiatives undertaken the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), BIRAC and BIBCOL, to tackle the current COVID-19 crisis especially those related to the development of the vaccine, RT-PCR and Rapid antibody tets.
A multi-pronged research strategy and action plan for an immediate response as well as for long-term preparedness to tackle COVID-19 has evolved according to Dr. Renu Swarup, Secretary, DBT.
These efforts include the development of suitable therapeutics, vaccines, animal models, genomic studies on the pathogen and host, and the development of indigenous diagnostics.
Various computational methods are being developed by DBT labs and its autonomous institutes to predict potential therapeutics, informed DBT Scientists. Also, the surrogates of viruses that represent critical steps in the life cycle are being developed and are testing the inhibitors. Researchers are trying to isolate neutralizing antibodies either from human antibody libraries or recovered COVID-19 patients.
The candidate vaccines under development are currently at various stages of pre-clinical studies. Nine of these studies are at initial stages and one is at the advanced stageof development which is a delivery and adjuvant system for improving the immunogenicity of the candidate vaccine.
The work done by scientists and their innovative ways to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic was appreciated by Dr. Harsh Vardhan. The Union Minister said India will be self-reliant in the production of RT-PCR and Antibody kits by the end of the next month. By the end of next month, India will be self-reliant in testing kits to do one lack Covid-19 tests per day.
The minister urged scientists to speed up their work on developing new drugs, new vaccines, and medical equipment. BIRAC’s efforts in supporting over 150 startup solutions were appreciated by Minister. 20 out of the 150 are ready for deployment.
A Hand-Sanitizer developed by Bharat Immunologicals and Biologicals Corporation Ltd. (BIBCOL) was also released by the Union Minister. BIBCOL is currently contributing towards the solutions for COVID-19 by manufacturing formulations of Zinc and Vitamin C tablets.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan said the commercial sale of every single of this hand-sanitizer will contribute one rupee to PM Cares Fund.