National Health Mission Current Affairs - 2020

Low Cost Covid-19 Diagnostic Kits developed by IIT Guwahati

In association with the Guwahati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) and RR Animal Healthcare Limited, at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati, kits for diagnosing Covid-19 has been developed by using material that is available in the local market. 3 different types of diagnosis low-cost kits have been developed, they are Ribonucleic acid (RNA) isolation kits, Viral Transport Media (VTM) kits, Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test kits. The materials used for manufacturing the kits are as per the recommendations of the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Two batches of the Kits have been handed over to GMCH and the National Health Mission, Assam at present.

VTM Kits

These Kits are used to collect the sample safely to the laboratory for testing. The VTM Kit must keep the sample specimen intact if any virus is present in the sample until the testing procedure for it can be completed in a laboratory, hence the quality of the VTM Kit is important for accurate results.

The VTM Kit developed at IIT Guwahati is said to preserve the viability of viruses at refrigerated temperature for up to 72 hours.

This VTM Kit of IIT Guwahati can be used to collect both oral and as well as nasal sample specimens. The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has validated the VTM Kits as safe to use.


A complementary Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) is generated in this type of Kit, an enzyme Reverse Transcriptase (RT) is used to generate the DNA from an isolated and purified RNA. This converted and newly formed DNA is then used to check the presence of the Covid-19 virus in the sample specimen.

GoI sanctions Rs 15,000 crores for its COVID-19 Package

On April 9, 2020, the Government of India sanctioned Rs 15,000 crore that was earlier announced for the Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness package. The main objective of the package is to contain the spread of COVID-19.


The funds sanctioned are to be used in establishing dedicated treatment facilities of COVID-19, build national and state health systems, bio-security preparedness, support and prevent future disease outbreaks.

The funds will also help in increasing the production of PPEs (Personal Protection Equipment), ventilators, ICU and other essential equipment.

Division of the funds

The Funds are to be completely handled by the Ministry of Health and Family welfare. The ministry will split the funds among its exclusive divisions that have been deployed in combating COVID-19. The funds are to be split among National Health Mission, ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research), Indian Railways, National Centre for Disease Control.

So far, the GoI has 223 labs testing COVID-19. This includes 66 private laboratories.