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‘India need not follow Russian method of sterilising Covid-19 kits’

Chennai, April 23 (IANS) While Russia may be sterilising the medical masks and Covid-19 test kits with a beam of accelerated electrons before they are sent to the labs, industry experts in India are of the view that there are cost effective alternatives.

Sterion JSC (joint stock company), a subsidiary of Rusatom Healthcare and part of Russian nuclear power group Rosatom has started sterilising transport swabs for COVID-19 diagnostics.

Sterilisation is achieved by means of targeting the medical kits, pre-loaded onto a conveyor belt, with a beam of accelerated electrons, said Rusatom Healthcare.

This method allows for the safe sterilisation of medical supplies without the need to unpack them from the shipping containers provided by manufacturers.

“After being processed with a stream of accelerated electrons, the swabs immediately become usable and do not require degassing (as would have been the case with several other sterilisation methods) or any other additional actions before actual use,” Rusatom Healthcare said.

When queried whether India should also sterilise the imported kits from China, Rajiv Nath, Forum Coordinator, Association of Indian Medical Device Industry (AiMeD) told IANS: “Sterlisation of medical products without the permission of original manufacturer cannot be done.”He said there are other ways of sterilising the outsides of the cartons.A senior nuclear sector expert preferring anonymity told IANS: “Original manufacturers have to pack their products in a sterile environment before sending them out.”

He said there are cost effective ways of sterilising/sanitising the outer packaging then subjecting them to accelerated electron beams.

According to Alexander Shibanov, CEO, Rusatom Healthcare, by the end of April the number of processed medical kits will reach 150,000.

“We plan to reach 300,000 in May,” he was quoted as saying in a statement.

Sterion also continues to sterilise medical masks, having processed 1.5 million units by mid-April 2020.

–IANS

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