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Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries working on cheaper COVID-19 drug, affordable test kits

Reliance Industries, backed by Mukesh Ambani-- Asia's richest man, is mulling usage of a tapeworm drug as a cure for COVID-19 infection

Mukesh Ambani Mukesh Ambani

In an attempt to help India tide over its COVID-19 crisis, Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries is working on a new COVID-19 drug and cheaper testing kits. The conglomerate, backed by Asia's richest man, is mulling usage of Niclosamide- a tapeworm drug as a cure for COVID-19 infection.

Diagnostic kits made by the company-- R-Green and R-Green Pro-- have received approval from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). Besides, Reliance has also designed a plan to make sanitizers at one-fifth of the market cost.

The Mumbai-based conglomerate is further working to plug ventilator shortages across hospitals in India. For this, the refining-to-retail group will use 3D technology and a "special snorkeling mask", Bloomberg reported. Reliance is designing medical-grade oxygen generators with 5-7 litre capacity per minute.

Reliance is actively helping with medical-grade liquid oxygen supply across the country. The company stated that when the COVID-19 pandemic struck India, they had zero medical-grade liquid oxygen production.

Reliance produces 11 per cent of India's total medical-grade liquid oxygen production at its refinery-cum-petrochemical factory in Gujarat's Jamnagar.  The company supplied more than 15,000 MT of oxygen free of cost in April and also airlifted 24 ISO containers from Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Belgium, The Netherlands, and Germany into India.

In 2020, Reliance set up a unit to make personal protective equipment (PPE) kits for front-line health workers. The company contributed Rs 500 crore to PM CARES Fund and Rs 5 crore each to Maharashtra CM Relief Fund and Gujarat CM Relief Fund last year.  

Reliance Foundation, the philanthropic wing of Reliance has also contributed 875 beds for COVID-19. The foundation along with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has set up a 225-bed facility at Seven Hills Hospitals where patients receive free treatment.

Edited by Mehak Agarwal

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