Reliance working to produce cheaper testing kits, new COVID-19 drug
India has been at the forefront of the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic with numerous out-of-the-box solutions. In a recent development, Bloomberg reported that Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd. is exploring the use of a tapeworm infection cure to treat COVID-19. The company has also designed a COVID-19 test and a method to manufacture sanitizers at one-fifth the market cost. Here are more details.
Reliance's COVID-19 testing kits have received ICMR nod
Bloomberg reported that India's most valuable company Reliance Industries Ltd. is exploring the possibility of using a drug called Niclosamide for curing COVID-19. The drug is otherwise used to treat cases of tapeworm infection. Further, Reliance's new diagnostic kits, the R-Green and R-Green Pro have been approved by India's apex medical research body, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
Reliance Industries leveraging 3D-printing technology to address nationwide ventilator shortage
Additionally, Reliance's report revealed that the company has designed a process to manufacture sanitizers on par with WHO specifications at 20 percent of the market cost. The conglomerate is also making efforts to address ventilator availability across Indian hospitals by deploying CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machines with a "3D-printed Charlotte valve" and a "special snorkeling mask". The concept was reportedly pioneered in Italy.
The story behind Italy's unique 3D printed Charlotte valve solution
Engineers at Issinova in Italy developed an adaptor called a Charlotte valve, which could convert a widely available snorkeling mask (Decathlon's Easybreath mask) into a non-invasive, but uncertified ventilator mask. The masks, once retrofitted with the 3D printed Charlotte valve, helped address the ventilator crisis during Italy's first wave of COVID-19. The valve has since been patented but it remains free to use.
Company designing oxygen generators with five to seven liters/minute capacity
Reliance is also reportedly designing oxygen generators that deliver five to seven liters of oxygen per minute at 90-95 percent purity. In April this year, when the country was grappling with oxygen shortage during the second wave of infections, Reliance repurposed equipment at the world's biggest oil refinery site in Jamnagar to produce over 15,000 metric tonnes of medical-grade oxygen free of cost.