Minister MoST extols NUST as tech leader for developing indigenous technologies & products to combat Coronavirus

Islamabad:   (Parliament Times)   The outbreak of COVID 19, caused by Novel
Coronavirus, has forced Governments, scientists and medical professionals the world
over, to contemplate how to counter this unanticipated and deadly challenge facing
the world. Leading research-intensive institutions and centres across the globe are
doing their best to grapple with the crisis; in Pakistan, National University of Sciences
& Technology (NUST) has been going the extra mile to combat this pandemic through
indigenously developed technologies as well as intellectual input and support to the
Federal Minister for Science & Technology Chaudhry Fawad Hussain paid a
visit to the university on Thursday. Upon arrival, Lt Gen Naweed Zaman, HI (M),
(Retd), Rector NUST, along with the Principal Investigators (PIs), apprised the
Honourable Minister about specifications and applications of projects displayed at
the occasion. These projects included tele-operated decontamination robot, aerial
spraying drone, robust and cost-effective PCR-based testing kits for the detection of
Coronavirus; bilingual (Urdu & English) COVID-19 self-screening app, the world’s first
Urdu app for Android, named COVID CHECK PAKISTAN (app is available at; high-quality sanitisers for microbial control, produced as
per the revised guidelines of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Centers for
Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), USA; and ventilator systems for short-term
stabilisation (ranging from few hours to 1 day) of COVID-19 patients, as per the
design specifications specially issued for combatting COVID-19 by the Medicines &
Healthcare products Regulator Agency (MHRA), UK.
Later, the Minister witnessed a demonstration of the decontamination
systems developed by scientists for disinfecting open and closed spaces. These
technologies will be used to disinfect high risk and critically important locations,
such as hospitals, in- and outdoor quarantine camps, airports, commercial spaces,
etc., to lower the risk of Coronavirus spread.
Talking to the media at the end of the event, the Minister spoke high of NUST
for playing its role, as a leading research-led university of the country, in helping the
Government fight this pandemic. He commended NUST for coming up with highly
innovative and effective products at a fast pace to purge the country from the
pandemic that has been wreaking havoc globally. He said that the Drug Regulatory
Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) has constituted an expert committee both for testing
kits and ventilators, which will be meeting soon, adding that time-to-market for
medical devices, particularly ones that are invasive, is not a short process, and
considering the inherently lengthy process, these particular kits are being fast-
tracked so that the immediate requirement of the country can be met as early as

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possible, and dependence on imported kits can be reduced. The Minister also praised
the scientists for having sequenced the complete genome of SARS-CoV-2, which
would help develop more accurate diagnostics for this virus and will also impact
vaccine development studies. Talking about fake and low quality sanitisers being sold
in the market, he encouraged NUST to expedite work on the commercialisation of
high quality sanitisers developed by the university.

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