AP Medi-Tech Zone to manufacture ventilators, coronavirus testing kits
The Asian Development Bank has come forward to extend a Rs 300 crore assistance for the expansion of AMTZ
Amaravati: The Andhra Pradesh Medi-Tech Zone (AMTZ) is getting active, after a long spell of a lull, to produce ventilators and COVID-19 testing kits that are critical in fighting the pandemic.
The Centre has already placed an order for 3,500 ventilators and the assembling of the units will start from April 15, according to the Andhra Special Chief Secretary (Industries and Commerce) Rajat Bhargava.
"The AMTZ will start with a capacity of making 3,000 ventilators during April and scale it up to 6,000 per month from May," Bhargava told PTI.
Hindustan Lifecare Limited (HLL) would assist in the assembly of the ventilators.
Besides, 10,000 COVID-19 testing kits would be manufactured every week from Monday and the capacity would be increased to 25,000 kits a week by May.
"The required plant and machinery is being moved into Visakhapatnam for this and this could increase based on demand," the Special Chief Secretary added.
Medical equipment manufacturing is a critical area that requires about 700 to 2,000 parts, most of which have to be imported from different international sources.
For ventilators, turbines, blenders, humidifiers, compressors are some of the critical components that have to be sourced from various allied sectors.
"Medical equipment manufacturing requires technology integration, assembly, quality control, testing, and validation. TUV Rheiland of Germany is taking care of the testing part," Bhargava said.
The Indian Council of Medical Research has approved the kits to be manufactured at the AMTZ while the Drug Controller General of India granted exemption from all manufacturing approvals for ventilators in view of the current crisis.
"With the support of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, we have selected six companies in the phase-1. The Centre is trying for more financial support for the project to accommodate a larger number of partners," the Special Chief Secretary added.
The state government, on its part, released Rs 30 crore and the Centre Rs 8 crore towards equipment and other infrastructure building in the AMTZ.
The Principal Scientific Advisor has written to AP Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy seeking to make the AMTZ the National Implementing Agency for medical equipment and the latter consented to create all required facilities for it.
"The Asian Development Bank has come forward to extend a Rs 300 crore assistance for the expansion of AMTZ. Accordingly, we will soon take up the phase-2 of the project in 200 acres and about 177 companies will set up their units to manufacture various critical medical equipment that will make India self-reliant," Bhargava said.