‘Making efforts to develop antibody-based test kits'
Business Standard|March 25, 2020
In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government has given clearance for the manufacturing of PCR (polymerase chain reaction)-based kits in India to detect the virus.

There are other methods, such as antibody-based tests — which are faster and suitable for large-scale screenings. In an interview, Biocon CMD KIRAN MAZUMDAR-SHAW tells Samreen Ahmad her company's research arm Syngene is working towards developing such kits. Edited excerpts:

The government has allowed private labs for testing of coronavirus. Is the price cap of %4,500 reasonable?

It is very reasonable because this price cap has been derived from the cost of imported kits.

What other steps should the government take to encourage private participation?

We need to test more people, so opening it up for private labs was a very important step. Next, the government needs to allow treatment by private hospitals because we are going to be overwhelmed by the need for hospital beds. There are simply not enough beds in government hospitals. We will need a large number of medical professionals and without the private sector's involvement, the government won’t be able to expand capacity.

What role can corporate India play to contain the COVID-19 pandemic?

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