Coronavirus: Government curbs exports of diagnostic kits with immediate effect
The government on Saturday put curbs on exports of diagnostic kits with a view to discourage shipments amid the coronavirus outbreak.
"The export of diagnostic kits (diagnostic or laboratory reagents on a backing, preparation diagnostic or laboratory reagents)... is restricted with immediate effect," the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said in a notification.
The move would help in dealing with the COVID-19 crisis as these kits are required for testing of patients.
Earlier, exports of these products were allowed without any restrictions. Putting them under the restricted category would mean that an exporter will now require a licence from the DGFT for outbound shipments.
On Thursday, Pune-based molecular diagnostics firm Mylab Discovery Solutions said it had partnered with Serum India CEO Adar Poonawalla and AP Globale Chairman Abhijit Pawar to scale up operations and escalate faster delivery of its COVID-19 testing kits.
The test kit by the company was the first 'Made in India' kit to receive commercial approval from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSC), and is named as Mylab PathoDetect COVID-19 Qualitative PCR kit, it had earlier said.
Funds invested will be used for scaling production of coronavirus testing kits and expansion of molecular diagnostic solutions, Mylab said in a statement.
Commenting on the development, Poonawalla said: "In the next few weeks, we will be ramping up the production of the COVID-19 testing kits taking from 1.5 lakh tests/week to 20 lakh tests/week".
Mylab's COVID-19 test kit screens and detects the infection within 2.5 hours as compared with over seven hours taken by current protocols, the company had earlier said.
(Disclaimer: Additional background information has been added to this PTI copy for context)
(Edited by Teja Lele Desai)