Many have criticised the lack of aggressive approach on part of Indian researchers' community. (Photo Credit: IANS Photo)
Coronavirus pandemic has claimed over 34,000 lives across the world and researchers are racing against time to find a working solution for the treatment of the affected people. From injections to therapies, to unique drug combinations, the medical world is trying every possible scenario to bring some relief to the communities battered by COVID-19 disease. So, what are Indian scientists doing about the contagion? Many have criticised the lack of aggressive approach on part of Indian researchers' community. Amid chaos and confusion, K Vijay Raghavan, Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India took to Twitter to give a behind the scene guide to the strategy adopted by our scientists. (Coronavirus Outbreak LIVE Updates)
Many have asked about what scientists in India are doing on COVID-19. What does their work mean for our current-management during and after the lockdown? What are the treatments that could emerge, and is a vaccine likely? 1— Principal Scientific Adviser, Govt. of India (@PrinSciAdvGoI) March 29, 2020
In a lengthy Twitter thread, Raghavan spoke extensively about how every department in the Modi government and other players in private, informal sectors have become part of India's battle plan against coronavirus. On level 1, the frontline workers collect all health data, patient's history etc. Then this data is collected on national level and integrated to form the backbone of the Centre's response mechanism. "The @ndmaindia integrates health information with all other information and works with the SDMAs to have every aspect of management attended to in an anticipatory manner. Together, they are the advance teams readying us for every eventuality. All this information is integrated nationally. This allows the @MoHFW_INDIA, @PIB_India, @mygovindia to put out updates," Raghavan said.
Then comes the next level where Indian data is sent to the WHO to analyse the global trend of the pandemic. This stage involves sharing data with the WHO and other international bodies. This stage helps in formulating ways to look into the supply of essential components and chemicals for testing, diagnosis, and treatment, Raghavan said. "In this background, our scientists and industry are helping empower our health- workers in the frontline, protecting them. Testing and large surveys. Drugs and vaccines," he added.
Giving an insight into the world of the Indian research community, Raghavan said that, "Indian researchers are also embarking, on research projects ( following the R&D committee’s OM) on serological research studies. This could inform about the extent and distribution of infection and immunity. Our start-up and incubators have been astounding. They have been working on the highest end drug- repurposing, using AI to predict targets, to making equipment and tools for treatment. See, for example, the wonderful efforts from @IITKanpur @abandopa."