Rockefeller Foundation on Monday announced $5.5 million (around Rs 40 crore) grant to Center for Cellular and Molecular Platforms and global nonprofit PATH to scale up COVID-19 testing in India. The grant will support the domestic manufacturing of critical testing materials and deployment of scalable testing programmes, essential to mitigating the virus’ spread, Rockefeller Foundation said in a statement.
Additionally, the grant will advance efforts to leverage data and technology to strengthen pandemic surveillance and response, it added. “Expanding access to COVID-19 testing, especially among high-risk populations, is critical to safeguarding the health of Indians, “Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India K Vijay Raghavan said.
With support from Rockefeller Foundation, research institutes will be able to support MSMEs to manufacture high-quality, yet low-cost molecular diagnostics that meet global standards, he added. These collaborations will not only help to solve a critical domestic challenge, provide for import substitution but will also enable India to better contribute to the global COVID-19 response.
Rockefeller Foundation’s Senior Vice President, Health, Naveen Rao said scaling up COVID-19 testing provides crucial data insights that can help inform India’s response and direct targeted interventions to those most in need. “These grants reflect our commitment to supporting India’s equitable recovery from COVID-19, and we look forward to working alongside the Government of India to advance this urgent goal," he added.