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ASSAR calls for global innovation and technology solutions to test COVID under one minute

The agency announces commercial pilot for testing technology to start with Delhi and Mumbai airports ahead of the anticipated third wave of COVID-19

Advance Services for Social and Administrative Reforms (ASSAR) has opened applications for global technology and healthcare companies to provide technology, products and Services (TPS) for instant COVID-19 testing that will give reliable results within 60 seconds, a statement has said.

Announcing to conduct this testing technology as a commercial pilot starting with critically Delhi and Mumbai international airports, the pilot aims to target the two disembarkations that have the highest risk of importing mutated variants of COVID virus in India. Prototype pilot will then extend to 12 other test venues in coordination with the state governments in the same phase of the pilot to make domestic and in-land air-travel safe passage for transportation ahead of the predicted wave, and the possibility of further lockdowns, it added.

The statement also notified that ASSAR, under its ‘Ease of Doing Business’ programme, opened the applications for this pilot on 10th July, and is currently in the process of corroborating screening process with competent bodies until 25th July. Thereafter, the shortlisted companies shall undergo logistical and financial planning for execution in the month of August 2021, by the agency.

Talking about the immediacy and necessity of the project, Abhijeet Sinha, National Programme Director, Ease of Doing Business division, ASSAR, said, “Much has been already lost beyond measure in the last 16 months. The second wave of COVID has hit us hard, and, at no cost, is the country ready to bear another socio-economic brunt. With these testing technologies, our effort is to take pre-emptive steps, so the nation doesn’t have to face another lockdown with the anticipated wave. Further, indispensable public and private sector operations that have already suffered huge losses, with this pilot, will be able to provide affordable instant tests for such necessities.”

He also said, “Not all sectors or nature of jobs or businesses can be effectively done from home, especially the ones concerning national security, research, manufacturing, developmental sectors, etc. Our effort with these pilots is to put the country’s socio-economic recovery back on track.”

Since it is a commercial pilot, not medical prototyping, only a technology medically pre-approved by ICMR/USFDA /CE-IVD will be considered to showcase its portability, simplicity, cost-efficiency, scalability, prevention of data falsification and optimisation with internet connectivity and high throughput for testing at the international disembarkation as well as the last-mile testing in the rural outbreak, mentioned the statement.

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