Low-cost swabs for coronavirus testing vital to tackle the global pandemic
Dr MGR Medical University predict 1.5 lakh COVID cases in Chennai by mid-July
With an alarming rises of positive cases in Chennai, Tulips, India’s leading personal hygiene consumer product innovator today announced that it is producing over 5 million ‘made-in-India’, affordable COVID-19 SWABS per week to help the nation ramp up testing. The cost of these high-quality swabs is almost one tenth of the imported swabs.
As India tries to open up and revive the economy, testing is vital for tackling Coronavirus in India. This is important as epidemiologists at Tamil Nadu *Dr MGR Medical University predict 1.5 lakh COVID cases in Chennai by mid-July, using mathematical modelling.
To meet the country’s need for COVID-19 tests, Tulips has converted its production lines and reconfigured equipment, of some of its manufacturing capabilities. The company has the largest installed capacity of Cotton buds in Asia and possesses capability of taking the COVID-19 swab production to over 30 million swabs per week, if required in due course.
Significantly, in past 19 days, COVID cases in Tamil Nadu jumped from 10,000 to 27,256. The city has 9,066 active cases, and reported 1,072 cases. Of the total cases reported in Tamil Nadu since March 7, 18,693 cases were from Chennai.
Tulips supplied more than 7 million swabs to major VTM kit producers, in all parts of the country. Almost all the states have started using low cost Indian Swabs, as these have helped the states to cut their Test Kit costs by almost 40 – 60%.
The intent is to make the state self-reliant in nasal and throat swabs, critical in fighting COVID-19 war and rely less on supplies from other countries, in these testing times. With rising number of COVID-19 cases, the company shifted focus to affordable swabs, as domestically produced swabs would cost one-tenth the imported swabs.
Though the recovery percent in the state is more than 50% of the total cases, the addition of the new cases is a reminder that the demand for the testing swabs. With a steady inflow of migrants from Maharashtra, Delhi, Karnataka, AP and Kerala who have tested positive.
The state has not increased its testing capacity for the past few weeks now and it still continues to test only 10,500 to 12,000 individuals in a day. According to the experts, Tamil Nadu needs to ramp-up its testing capabilities considerably to contain the spread of the virus.
Key features of the highly specialized TULIPS swabs are:
ICMR approved swab with very flexible stem
In-built break point at 64 mm and a red indicator line just above it thereby posing no risk for the test medics
Special thin size swab – perfectly comfortable for both nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal
Swab in sync for vacutainer tubes with bung cap
4 tier quality check system – quality product as per COA
Tulips indigenous, affordable, swabs innovation has excellent collection and release properties. The special fiber has been tested and validated for use in specimen collection in microbiology, RT-PCR analysis.
TULIPS is the first to develop & receive the ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) and NIV (National Institute of Virology) validation for domestically produced special swabs. This is vital as COVID Test swabs were not manufactured in India, and were imported from the US or China. With global demand increasing, it became difficult and expensive to get swabs from other nations.
Today the state and the nation needs the swabs in to fight the COVID-19 war. As per WHO, reconfiguring health systems is vital to tackling COVID-19. This is significant amid calls for more testing for coronavirus and warnings from the medical experts that reopening the nation’s economy without increasing the capacity to test for the virus poses serious risks.
“Today’s health crisis is unprecedented, so we all have to help wherever we can. While we are firm on meeting the pan India needs, we are scaling up to help the world. We are convinced that widespread and affordable testing of those infected with COVID-19 will bring us out of the current lockdown as we do our bit to help the states return to normalcy. We are working at full speed as time is of the essence, and a lot is at stake. Our dedicated employees are working 24 x 7, to ensure free availability. We developed special swabs for COVID testing by converting the 100% Cotton processing lines, within 10 days flat. What is unique here, is that the entire development was done in-house by our amazing team and the trials were done on main production lines, which enabled us to start producing the same day we received the ICMR approval,” said Rahul Jain, Partner, Tulips.
“To fight COVID-19, India will have to increase testing and may need over 7 – 10 million swabs every week, to enable the nation to safely begin easing lockdown restrictions and open the economy. This is significant as India plans aggressively to test its billion plus population for COVID-19 to ensure the virus doesn’t spread faster when some of the regulations are relaxed.”, said Mr Rajiv Nath, Forum Coordinator, Association of Indian Medical Device Industry (AiMeD), New Delhi ”
With COVID-19 positive cases in India crossing 250000 and deaths surpassing 7000, experts believe, we must act decisively to outsmart the virus and contain the outbreak. Affordable swabs enable mitigating this human crisis by accelerating preventive testing, and quickly meeting the massive demand to a decrease in outbreak as well as a return to normalcy.
One of the largest producers of swabs – TULIPS’ product line, currently one of the best worldwide in innovative hygiene cotton products and wipes, employs more than 400 workers.