There’s something VERY FISHY going on with Covid-19 testing kits in India. Prima facie, it reeks of corruption & favoritism in the middle of a pandemic by the Modi govt.
On 20th March, 18 firms got permission from govt. to get their testing kits validated by National Institute of Virology.
Meanwhile, a day earlier on 19th, Gujarat-based firm CoSara had already received an approval to start manufacturing Covid-19 test kits. This firm is a collaboration between a US-based company & an Ahmedabad-based firm.
Some of the other 18 firms who were waiting to get their Covid-19 test kits validated said that these would be sold at a price of 400-500 per kit (far cheaper than imported ones).
CoSara, on the other hand, refused to publicly divulge the cost of their Covid-19 kits.
Suddenly, on 21st March, the Health Ministry issued guidelines allowing private labs to conduct Covid-19 tests. The cost of these is capped at a whopping 4500 rupees.
These guidelines have one caveat – ONLY testing kits approved by US FDA/European CE can be used.
That means ONLY kits manufactured by Ahmedabad-based CoSara can be used for Covid-19 testing.
So after allowing 18 firms to test their kits for production, the Modi govt. suddenly changed guidelines to favor ONLY 1 Ahmedabad company (whose testing kit cost is unknown).
Why is a Gujarat-based firm being provided a monopoly on Covid-19 testing kits by suddenly tweaking guidelines overnight?
Why are 18 firms who can produce testing kits for very cheap prices being blocked by these sudden new guidelines?