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“Source:- Economic Times”
New Delhi:
The ongoing Covid-19  outbreak has shown India has the capacity to emerge as global hub for manufacturing  testing kits, said Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, executive chairperson, Biocon, pointing to the quick work by many companies as the need arose.

She was speaking at a webinar held by the Department of Biotechnology, School of Engineering & Applied Sciences at the Bennett University, on Thursday on the theme “Combating Covid-19: Biotech to the Rescue”.

Shaw outlined the potential scenarios and decisions that pharma and biotech experts are working on and the research work that is happening around the world. “It was a wakeup call for India.

The US was inundated with cases and there was an urgent need to ramp up testing in the US. All the test manufacturers were focusing on US,” she said speaking at the inaugural session of the webinar.

In no time India realised that it had quite a few companies that had the ability to develop the kits. “We know that it involves, the primers, the probes and the viral collection and how to interpret them.

It is interesting to know that we had this capability. Mylab came up with the kits and later on many other companies pitched in,” she added. She said right now efforts are being made into making sure that we can manufacture every component of the kit.

“At present, we need to import a lot of components, we need to become good at indigenising every component of the kit.” Shaw said the day is not far when India will become the hub in the world for manufacturing the testing kits. She said that this is an “exciting time” which has brought together, academia, industry, science, engineers, and medical practitioners.

“This is a time when there is a milieu of efforts from different aspects of medical community, engineering community, IT community. Everything is coming together because there are so many opportunities to understand this horrible pandemic and to deal with it in a way that gives us a comfort that we can actually get into amuch safer zone.”

Other panellist on the inaugural session, Shahid Jameel, chief executive oficer of Wellcome Trust DBT India Alliances, said that the number of cases and deaths in India continue to rise and the curve has yet not flattened. Jameel pressed upon advancements towards developing vaccines, therapies and medicines that are presently used to combat against Covid-19.