To fight against COVID-19 pandemic which has severely affected the country in last one year, Reliance Industries has taken several initiatives — from setting up a hospital to ramping up the oxygen supply. Its latest venture is the authorization of a tapeworm drug that has potential to treat novel coronavirus infection.
The research and development (R&D) team of Reliance Industries, is exploring the use of Niclosamide — a drug used to treat tapeworm infestation as a treatment of COVID-19, mentioned the annual report. Earlier, the researchers at the University Hospital in Trieste, Italy, had found Niclosamide might be effective in curing deadly novel coronavirus. The group led by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, had already submitted a proposal for the application of Niclosamide as a drug against COVID-19 to the central government, the annual report said.
“Right from day one, Reliance has adopted a multi-pronged prevention, mitigation, adaptation and ongoing support strategy to fight the pandemic," said Mukesh Ambani, chairman and managing director, Reliance Industries.
To help the country amid the pandemic, the refining-to-retail group earlier developed cost-effective COVID-19 diagnostic kits — R-Green and R-Green Pro. Both kits have received approval from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). The team has also designed a process to produce sanitizers aligned with WHO specifications at 20% of market cost, the report added.
Reliance is trying to address ventilator shortages across Indian hospitals seen earlier this year by using 3D technology which enables CPAP machine with a 3D-printed charlotte valve and “special snorkelling mask", the report added. To fulfill the rising oxygen demand in the marker, it started working on value-engineered robust design for oxygen generators capable of producing up to seven litres of oxygen per minute with a purity of 90-95%.
The Reliance team is also working with various Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) laboratories to certify Nexar polymer, which has been found to be effective in destroying the lipid layer of various viruses and bacteria.
“The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted several lives and dealt a severe blow to the economic health of the nation. It has also put tremendous burden on the healthcare infrastructure of the nation which is crucial for saving lives and reducing the impact of the pandemic. In these challenging times, the most remarkable and satisfying achievement of the company has been its humanitarian efforts in strengthening the nation’s fight against the pandemic," Ambani added.
“Last year, as soon as the first few cases of COVID-19 were reported in India, Reliance Foundation (RF) set up India’s first dedicated COVID-19 hospital in Mumbai in just two weeks. This year, in response to the sudden surge in COVID-19 cases in the city, RF rapidly scaled up its COVID operations to create 875-bed facilities dedicated to COVID care. It is the largest contribution by a philanthropic organisation to COVID care in Mumbai," he further added.