Tamil Nadu

Private firms race against time to manufacture rapid test kits

Key task: Health workers collecting a sample from a woman at a COVID-19 testing centre in Chennai on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: ARUN SANKAR

Quite a few healthcare players in Tamil Nadu have come forward to manufacture the much sought-after COVID-19 rapid test kits and other medical equipment, following Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami’s announcement of a special package for such industries.

“We are in the final stage of R&D for rapid test kits and we hope to hit the market soon. Our test kits should be out by May,” said G.S.K. Velu, chairman and managing director of Trivitron Healthcare, which is also into manufacturing ventilators, PPE and hand sanitisers.

With manufacturing units in Chennai, Visakhapatnam and Mumbai, Trivitron aspires to end the country’s dependence on China for rapid test kits. “By May, we hope to be able to manufacture these kits in large numbers. We have also identified suppliers for raw materials,” Dr. Velu told The Hindu.

M. Arumugam, managing director of Broadline Technologies Private Ltd., said his company was working on an automated ventilator model. He has also been collaborating with CSIR-Central Electrochemical Research Institute, Karaikudi, and the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research. “We are in the testing stage now, and after obtaining certification from the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories, our product should be out soon,” Dr. Arumugam said.

Private players had commenced work on the manufacture of ventilators, PPE, rapid test kits and N95 masks, a senior official in the State government told The Hindu. Besides, there were other players manufacturing sanitisers, regular masks, etc.

“Since it is not mandatory to inform the government before production, we don’t know the actual number of players who have commenced operations,” he said. At least three major automobile companies have tied up with smaller players to manufacture ventilators, as the smaller players offered specific technical expertise, while the larger ones offered overall support and space. “Besides, there are some who have commenced operations in Coimbatore,” the official said.

Around eight players have commenced operations for manufacturing PPE.

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Printable version | Mar 1, 2021 7:08:56 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/private-firms-race-against-time-to-manufacture-rapid-test-kits/article31342263.ece

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