The COVID-19 pandemic left many jobless, which lead to the establishment of several spurious companies- especially in the medical field.
One such spurious manufacturing unit of RT-PCR nasopharyngeal kits has come to the light after a Mumbai man, Surendra Yadav, shared a video on one of his social media platforms.
Nasopharyngeal kits are swab sticks used to collect nasal and throat samples for RT-PCR tests.
In the video, one can see a group of children sitting on the floor inserting two ear-bud-like long sticks in a plastic packet.
These packed kits had ‘Bio-Swab’ written on them, which the Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) has termed as a fake company and said no such company was registered to manufacture and supply swab sticks.
It may be mentioned here that Under Medical Devices Rules, 2017 (Form MD-5), which deals with low to moderate risk devices, the sticks require a sterile environment for production.
According to the FDA, every safety and health measure has been flouted while manufacturing and packing these swab sticks, which are being rampantly manufactured at Sant Gyaneshwar Nagar in Ulhasnagar, 50 km east of Mumbai.
“If a person touches the swab with bare dirty hands or is himself infected with COVID-19 or some other infection, the swab can infect the person who takes it in his mouth. We know that the virus can last on surfaces for a few days,” reported The Indian Express quoting Dr Anupa Dixit, the chief scientist at Suburban Diagnostics.
He further said that as the numbers of RT-PCR tests are on the rise, smaller hospitals and labs might be forced to opt for whatever supply they get.
Meanwhile, the local police have arrested a local supplier named Maneesh Keswani and seized leftover swab stick stock from at least five households.
Keswani has been booked under the Indian Penal Code and the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897.