From PM to pilot, many helped to deliver rapid test kits, says Shashi Tharoor


Though we first tried to import the kit from abroad, we were informed that it will be delayed. Then we noticed a news report on MyLabs company in Pune. It was a Gujarati company and the kit was made by Indian scientists.

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala is the first state in India to diagnose coronavirus through rapid testing. The rapid test kits were brought here following the intervention of MP Shashi Tharoor. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had appreciated the MP for this during a press meet the other day.

Shashi Tharoor explained in a channel discussion how the testing kits were brought to Kerala during the nationwide lockdown. The laws were amended with the help of the prime minister and the kits were taken from Pune to Kozhikode and then to Thiruvananthapuram.

"Allotting money from the MP fund was difficult. According to law, MP fund can be granted for only infrastructure or immovable properties. As the testing kit is a movable object, it was illegal to provide the fund for it. Also a minimum price is fixed for the materials that can be purchased using MP fund. The doctors informed me that they need 250 thermometers. But its price per unit was high and was unable to spend from MP fund for it," Tharoor said.

"All these matters were brought to the attention of Lok Sabha Speaker and Prime Minister. I got a chance to meet them while the Lok Sabha session was concluding and explained the matter in detail. By afternoon, the Speaker called me and said an order will be issued on the same day changing the rules in favour of purchasing the kits. Thus we could buy them," said the MP.

"I was trapped in Delhi due to lockdown by then. But my team contacted Indian Medical Association chapter, Thiruvananthapuram medical college and district medical officers for the matter. Many people helped to deliver the kits here as fast as possible. 1000 rapid test kits were delivered from Pune for the first time in the country," Tharoor said.

"Though we first tried to import the kit from abroad, we were informed that it will be delayed. Then we noticed a news report on My Labs company in Pune. It was a Gujarati company and the kit was made by Indian scientists. Though price was a little high, we agreed as they promised fast delivery. Kits were ready by Thursday itself," he said.

"I contacted Anand Mohandas, who is an IndiGo pilot and a leader of All India Professional Congress, Pathanamthitta chapter. He helped us connect with SpiceJet and they agreed to deliver the kits from Pune to Kozhikode. From Kozhikode to Thiruvananthapuram the kits were taken in another vehicle. Thus the kits were brought to Thiruvananthapuram on Friday morning by 11. 3000 kits were ordered in total and the remaining 2000 will arrive on Sunday," Tharoor said.

Shashi Tharoor also appreciated he coronavirus resistance activities in Kerala. He said that he is proud of Kerala's activities and that the prime minister should accept Kerala model. "I agree with the opposition's action of pointing out the lapses from the part of the government. However, the overall functioning of the coronavirus prevention is progressing well. Though there are controversies regarding the lighting of lamps, I will join it," he added.

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