90 employees called to work today to prepare machines for drug production
Mysore/Mysuru: Nanjangud-based Jubilant Generics, an extended arm of Jubilant Life Sciences, has been preparing to start operations. The company which was shut due to COVID-19 will resume operations soon with the guidelines by Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR). The State Government has already accorded clearance for its operations subject to a couple of conditions.
Production at the Jubilant Generics was shut due to Coronavirus positive cases and the Mysuru District Administration had quarantined the entire staff of around 1,552 persons in the plant and adjoining areas.
This morning, over 90 employees and technical staff were called to the factory for cleaning process and maintenance of machines. The company had sought permission from the Karnataka Government to restart operations after its parent company Jubilant Life Sciences tied up with the US drug firm Gilead to manufacture and sell Remdesivir, which is considered to be a frontline drug to treat COVID-19.
Company sources told ‘Star of Mysore’ this morning that it is for the first time after a gap of over two months the gates of the factory were opened. “Since it is a pharmaceutical company that is into manufacturing of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs), there are lots of maintenance work including oiling of the machines and grouping of chemicals to set the drug production in motion. It will take at least 10 days for the work to complete and only then the full operations in the company can start,” a company spokesperson said on condition of anonymity.
APIs like Azithromycin Dihydrate and Azithromycin Monohydrate, which are needed to fight Coronavirus, are manufactured at the Nanjangud facility. These have been identified as a frontline treatment for the infection.
Since the incident of infection of a staff came to light, Jubilant Generics said its management has been in continuous real-time communication with all its employees and would continue to address their concerns. The company is focused on taking care of the community around the plant and its employees, the company representative told ‘SOM.’
After the incident, the Jubilant set up committees and action groups for employees’ welfare as well as to communicate with them to address their concerns. “The multiple committees formed are responsible for welfare of employees and their families and the community around our plant. They are ably serving the needs in time with active help and support from the local administration,” the statement added.
“All 1,552 employees of the facility (including contract workers) were tested and 96 percent were found to be negative, less than 4 percent of the total employees tested positive and 80 percent of these were asymptomatic. All the employees have since been discharged and there has been no COVID-19 case in the last 26 days,” the statement said.
“Going forward, the company has worked out a detailed robust plan for preventive measures in line with the guidelines of Directorate General of Hydrocarbons and Ministry of Home Affairs. The company hopes to resume its operations soon,” the representative added.