Project CARD to push local production of testing kits
The move comes after India faced quality issues with Chinese-made antibody testing kits, which are used for disease surveillance and to find out how many people have developed immunity to a disease.
Project CARD’s first goal
Project CARD’s first goal is to roll out at least 10 million rapid antibody tests for Covid-19 by July. Additionally, capacity will be expanded to make reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and other paper-based tests for Covid-19 in the country.
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“While India is strong in biopharmaceuticals sector and recognised as a global powerhouse, its domestic capacity for diagnostics manufacturing has lagged behind. To address this gap, this platform will synchronise all stakeholders for a common, urgent goal towards accelerating Covid-19 diagnostics in India,” Anna Roy, senior advisor at Niti Aayog, told ET.
Three companies are working on it
Trivetron Healthcare, Syngene International and Reliance Industries are three companies that are working on antibody test kits in India and they will get the initial support in terms of procurement and availability of testing facilities to manufacture the kits.
“The private and public sectors will collaborate to set up test delivery and administering systems in Covid-19 hotspots, leveraging existing infrastructure, augmented by new-age technology,” Roy said.
Globally, antibody tests have become vital for governments to check the spread and decide on future course of action. India has looked to buy the test kits from China, South Korea, Switzerland and the US.