In a major shift with respect to the procurement of testing kits in India for COVID19, public sector unit HLL Infra Tech Services Limited under the Ministry of Health of Family Welfare on Friday began issuing tenders on behalf of Indian Council of Medical Research for the supply of testing kits.
The move comes almost three weeks after the ICMR on April 13 had issued a tender asking Central PSUs to act as Procurement Agency for essential supplies related to the COVID19 testing. The April 13 decision of the ICMR had come after the agency has come under the scanner over the delay in the procurement of testing kits.
On Friday, Procurement & Consultancy Services Division of HITES, on behalf of ICMR – invited an e-tender for three medical types of equipment: RT-PCR kits, RNA extraction kits, and Viral Media Transport. The tender has been issued for a supply of 29,00,000 RT-PCR kits, 33,00,000 RNA extraction kits, and 40,00,000 Viral Media Transport.
The decision to rope in a specialised PSU for procurement of testing kits also comes in the backdrop of the ICMR increasing the testing capacity to 1 lakh tests per day by the end of June.
HITES, which now act as a procurement agency for the ICMR, is specialised in infrastructure development, procurement, biomedical engineering for large hospitals; the government PSU, is also designated as a National Procurement Support Agency (NPSA) – and provides consultancy services to Government of India, State Governments and other institutions for procuring a range of healthcare and hospital products, equipment and devices. Currently, it is involved in the development of AIIMS in Bhatinda, Gorakhpur, and Guwahati.
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