The raw materials to the Nanjangud plant in Mysore had come from China and their samples were taken by authorities after some of the employees were found to have coronavirus infection.
On March 29, health officials along with microbiologists visited the plant — where operations have been temporarily suspended and all personnel have been put under self-quarantine — for sampling of the raw materials, according to the company.
Citing evidence available in the public domain, the company said it would be premature for any conclusions to be made on the role of raw materials in spread of the virus.
“The company is awaiting the results of the samples taken by the government authorities,” it said in a statement.
Regarding the raw materials, the company said it had taken more than three weeks for them to reach the plant by sea route from China and that they came in normal containers with no cold chain.
“The storage area for the sampled raw material is also under normal temperature and not in cold conditions and the temperature was above 32 degree celsius as was taken by the authorities on the day the samples were drawn,” it said.
As per the statement, no country has put any import or export restriction on raw material for pharmaceuticals as there is no evidence that the virus survives beyond 72 hours at any temperature.
“India continues to import 70 per cent of its raw material for pharmaceuticals from China,” it added.
On March 26, the company was informed by the district administration that one of the employees at the facility tested positive for coronavirus.
The statement said the employee did not attend office from March 21 to 26 till he was detected with having the infection.
While noting that the employee is recuperating well, Jubilant Generics said that subsequently, the local administration informed that “some more employees from the facility have tested positive and were admitted to different hospitals”.
Since the incident of infection of a staff employee came to light last month, 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, it said.
After the incident, the company 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 said.
Further, the company said that while all the basic needs of the employees are being met, some of them had requested for cash and that has been arranged.
Part of Jubilant Life Sciences, Jubilant Generics is into manufacturing of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs).
APIs like Azithromycin Dihydrate and Azithromycin Monohydrate, which are needed to fight coronavirus, are manufactured at the facility in Mysore. These have been identified as a front line treatment for the infection, the statement said.
The country has more than 5,700 cases of coronavirus infections and at least 166 people have died. RAM BJ HRS