The Rockefeller Foundation has announced two grants totaling $5.5 million to expand COVID-19 testing and contact tracing in India.
Grants will support the India-based manufacture of testing materials, scalable testing programs, and data-driven efforts to strengthen pandemic surveillance. Recipients include the Center for Cellular and Molecular Platforms (C-CAMP), which will use the funds to leverage public-private partnerships and scale domestic manufacturing of reagents and testing solutions, as well as inform a national plan for the production of at least ten million testing kits per month; and PATH, which will use the grant to help expand COVID-19 testing capacity and establish pandemic surveillance models in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Punjab.
"Expanding access to COVID-19 testing, especially among high-risk populations, is critical to safeguarding the health of Indians," said K. VijayRaghavan, principal scientific advisor to the government of India. "With support from the Rockefeller Foundation, research institutes will be able to support [the efforts of] MSMEs [micro, small, and medium-size enterprises] to manufacture high-quality yet low-cost molecular diagnostics that meet global standards. These collaborations will not only help to solve a critical domestic challenge [and] provide for import substitution but will also enable India to better contribute to the global COVID-19 response."
(Photo credit: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases/Rawpixel)