Drap has received two locally-made coronavirus testing kits: minister

Updated 02 Jul 2020

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"Approval of such kits requires 300 tests in the laboratory and another 500 in the field,” says Fawad Chaudhry. — Reuters/File
"Approval of such kits requires 300 tests in the laboratory and another 500 in the field,” says Fawad Chaudhry. — Reuters/File

ISLAMABAD: The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (Drap) has received two more coronavirus testing kits, one of which can generate results in 45 minutes, Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry told a press briefing on Wednesday.

“The testing kits have been sent by a local company. Approval of such kits requires 300 tests in the laboratory and another 500 in the field,” he told the press.

According to the minister the PCR kits, developed by National University of Science and Technology (Nust) have been approved and will be commercially produced from today.

“We are making our own personal protective equipment (PPE) in Pakistan. Faisalabad Textile University has been made independent for production of cotton masks; Pakistan has also started making N95 masks,” he said.

Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) under the Ministry of Science and Technology has been linked with European and American institutions to improve standards of Pakistani manufactured coronavirus fighting gear.

“Today we are exporting 100,000,000 orders of coded material. Ventilators will increase this; the first batch of ten ventilators have been developed by National Radio and Telecommunication Corporation [NRTC]. On his return from Lahore, the prime minister will hand over the first set of ventilators to National Disaster Management Authority [NDMA] and three more companies are starting manufacturing for ventilators. Manufacturing of ventilators will begin in Pakistan in 60 to 90 days. A group of 300 engineers with support from the ministry, who are training hospital staff have volunteered to operate ventilators. There are more than 300 ventilators, gathering dust in hospitals that are gradually becoming functional,” he added.

We initiated the programme with help from universities including Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) and Nust to produce items like hand sanitisers instead of relying on their heavy import, he said, adding there were problems with quality in the goods coming from China, however, made in Pakistan corona fighting products are better as per international standards.

He urged the private sector to come forward in producing and selling equipment to help in the fight against Covid-19.

Published in Dawn, July 2nd, 2020