Saturday, April 18, 2020

20 lakh ‘made in India’ testing kits per month from May

NEW DELHI: India is set to locally produce 10 lakh kits per month each of RT-PCR testing and rapid antibody detection tests for Covid-19 from May, reducing dependence on imports amid soaring global demand caused by the pandemic. Efforts in areas of diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines are also being monitored on a war footing, health ministry said. The present ventilator manufacturing capacity in India is 6,000 a month.
The Centre along with states have also expedited work on dedicated Covid hospitals. Till Friday, a total 1,919 dedicated Covid-19 facilities were identified across the country with 1,73,746 isolation beds and 21,806 ICU beds. The 1,919 facilities include 672 dedicated Covid hospitals for serious patients needing tertiary care and 1,247 dedicated Covid healthcare centres for patients with moderate symptoms.

“Production of ancillary support devices such as personal protective equipment, oxygen concentrators, ventilators, CSIR engineering labs is being augmented by indigenous designs of Sree Chitra Tiurumalai Institute of Medical Science and Technology (SCTIMST) under Department of Science and Technology,” health ministry joint secretary Lav Aggarwal said.

While India received five lakh rapid antibody testing kits from China on Thursday after a long delay, the kits were immediately distributed to districts on the basis of high case burden, officials said. The health ministry has also shared forecasting tools with states and district administrators for better planning of infrastructure across different Covid facilities based on the assessment of caseloads.

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