Coronavirus Research In India Needs To Be Done In Fixed Timeframe
Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Health urges scientists to develop COVID-19 mitigation solutions in a timely manner.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan said we are in the middle of a war and we need weapons on time. The weapons are useless if supplied when the war is over and the destruction is already made. This is different from a routine CSIR research job.
He made the statement during a video conferencing with the director of Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Dr. Shekhar Mande and all the 38 CSIR lab directors.
Minister appreciated the efforts made by CSIR labs so far. He also said the testing capacity for COVID-19 will be increased by many folds. In the testing of swab samples of suspected patients, 14 CSIR labs are already participating.
The efforts of the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB) and the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in sequencing the genome of the virus was appreciated by the minister. Research on genome sequencing of novel coronavirus will provide insights on where the virus came from, how it spreads and how this strain in India is differentfrom those found in other parts of the world. The institutes have begun the project with a target of doing 500 sequencings in the coming weeks.
Research is going on in plasma therapy where plasma from the recovered patients are taken to treat severely ill COVID-19 patients as it contains antibodies. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has approved Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST) to provide innovative treatment to patients suffering from COVID-19 disease. India is now part of “Solidarity” clinical trails launched by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to help find an effective treatment for COVID-19.
A Core Strategy Group (CSG) has been set up and five verticals have been identified to carry out coronavirus-related activities, said Dr. Shekhar Mande. These include rapid and economical diagnostics, digital and molecular surveillance, hospital-assistive devices and PPEs; supply chain and logistics support systems, new drugs/repurposing of drugs and associated production processes.
“COVID-19 has also come as a blessing in disguise as it will give a boost to the country’s resilience and self-reliance, and enhance indigenous capacity in developing critical health care equipment,” the minister said.
Editor’s Note; coronavirus research in India, Health minister asks to develop mitigation solutions in a fixed timeframe.