CSIR-IICT scientists advocate 3-way fight of prevention, detection and effective treatment to keep COVID away

A Raju, HyderabadThursday, October 29, 2020, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

Senior scientists at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (CSIR-IICT) in Hyderabad have advised the public not to let their guard down against the widely spreading coronavirus pandemic and advocated to follow three way fight of prevention, detection and effective treatment as to keep the deadly disease away.

The advice from the CSIR-IICT came at the backdrop of the fact that there were lower numbers of people getting tested positive each day and with the state and central governments lifting lockdown restrictions completely, many people are roaming around without masks, not following hand sanitization and not maintaining social distancing.

According to  Dr M Chandrasekharam, Senior Principal Scientist and Professor (AcSIR) at CSIR-IICT, more than 70 per cent population who have tested positive in Telangana are found to be asymptomatic and this is the biggest challenge that is bothering the healthcare and scientific community as these people are becoming the biggest spreaders of the deadly virus. In view of the above it has been advised to the people to adopt three way strategies to keep themselves away from disease. The first one is to keep body immunity high by following healthy lifestyle, secondly even if contracted with the disease, detect it early and go into quarantine and by keeping in isolation get treatment as per doctors advise and final option is for those who are with severe disease as they must get hospitalized for effective medical intervention.

“In the current COVID-19 pandemic, scientists and clinicians around the world have been striving to understand the nature of the virus, and the symptoms it causes in humans. While a lot of ground has been covered in the last 10 months and understanding has begun to emerge leading to new therapies, diagnostics and vaccines, there is still far more to uncover. However, to keep ourselves away from the deadly disease from time immemorial, there have been 3 ways to fight any disease. Prevention, detection and effective treatment are the only ways available with us and there is no exception even for COVID-19,” informed Chandrasekharam.

Highlighting the achievements of Indian scientists in their efforts to deal with Covid-19, Chandrasekharam said that there have been remarkable inroads made in this understanding the disease, and have yielded exciting developments in all the three measures mentioned above.  The new diagnostic kits, such FELUDA developed at CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, are prime examples of contributions of Indian scientists. This kit has been approved by DCGI and ICMR has issued an advisory that all Government and private labs approved by ICMR for SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR based testing may use this new test.

Further, the drug favipiravir launched by Cipla in the market has CSIR technology behind it. Similarly, new findings about treating diseases from the age-old traditional knowledge of the Indian system are also expected soon.

“Vaccines are in their final stage of development, the Indian scientists have managed to contribute exemplary well to contain the disease in all its formats. However, there is a still more to learn and we are learning each day. There have been many perplexing observations about the pandemic. The scientists are working to find solutions to all these questions, until then we should all act responsibly and keep safe,” observed the Dr. Shekhar C Mande, Director General of CSIR.