File image of Renu Swarup, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology
File image of Renu Swarup, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology | PIB
Text Size:

New Delhi: Over 20 research institutes are working overnight to develop vaccines for the treatment of the highly infectious novel coronavirus, said a top government official.

The National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune, and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) are among these research institutes.

According to Renu Swarup, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology (DBT), which functions under the Ministry of Science and Technology, the government has received over 7,000 tech-based proposals from private companies and individuals across the country to fight Covid-19.

In an interview to ThePrint, Swarup further said the government is dealing with several aspects — from scaling up production of low-cost Covid-19 testing kits and ventilators to expediting research for the development of vaccine to fight the novel coronavirus.

“We are working on several aspects right now. First is scaling up the manufacturing capacity of those start-ups and incubators, who have made low-cost testing kits and ventilators. They got early approval from the NIV and ICMR also. Eight to nine companies are in the process to get approval for their kits and ventilators,” said Swarup.

“We are also supporting those companies who got approval for commercial production of testing kits and ventilators. Besides, all IIT-incubators have been asked to focus on research and development of portable ventilators, on genome sequencing and on isolation of the strain of the novel coronavirus from blood samples,” she added.


Also read: How do you test for coronavirus? All you want to know about testing kits, process, results


Ventilators, test kits crucial if outbreak intensifies

Swarup said IIT-Kanpur and IIT-Roorkee incubation centers are working on making portable ventilators.

“We are also supporting three indigenous companies in scaling up their manufacturing capacity of providing ventilators at a fast pace. A Mysuru-based firm is also ramping up its capacity to make more ventilators. It is working with the NITI Aayog, DBT, DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation) to manufacture more ventilators,” she said.

“The DBT is also supporting private companies to procure local components to manufacture ventilators because there is a problem in sourcing them from outside now (in the wake of the lockdown),” she added.

An ICMR official told ThePrint ventilators and testing kits are extremely essential if the outbreak reaches the third stage.

“India, with less than 1 lakh intensive care units and a bed ratio of 1:1,000, will be at risk if outbreak reaches the third stage. The unique nature of the disease requires 3-4 week of recovery and 21-day ventilator support,” said the official.

“Ventilators are the next level weapon after a test kit, which is required in sufficient numbers in case of a mass outbreak,” he added.

‘Vaccine to take time’ 

Swarup said the coronavirus research consortium, which has experts from the ICMR, DBT, NIV, are working to develop a vaccine for Covid-19.

“We are researching new molecules for treatment. We are researching repurposed drugs to treat patients. More than 45 drugs have been identified that may be effective and research is going on. Several DBT institutions are working to see which formulations can work effectively against Covid-19,” she said.

“We are also sharing our research with international consortium, which are working on vaccine development. But in any case, it will take time. They are at the animal trial stage and it will reach stage three of human trail not before year end,” she added.

Over 7,000 tech solutions received on Covid-19 

Over 7,000 technological solutions were received by the government as part of its COVID-19 ‘Solution Challenge’.

Under the initiative, individuals and companies can submit their tech-based ideas for “strengthening the fight against coronavirus”.

“Several tech giants such as Microsoft, Intel, Amazon, Google have pitched ideas for making artificial intelligence-based solutions to detect suspected cases of coronavirus using the ICMR data. Ideas to manufacture low-cost ventilators, low-cost test kits and herbal sanitisers also came,” the DBT secretary told ThePrint.

Swarup said all these ideas are being vetted.

“A committee headed by K. VijayRaghavan, principal scientific adviser to the government, is evaluating the ideas and the DBT will support the selected research proposal,” she added.

The DBT has also invited proposals from companies working in the field of research and development to manufacture ventilators, testing kits, for which it will provide the required funding, the DBT secretary added.


Also read: By failing to scale up testing coronavirus, India may have lost crucial time


 

ThePrint is now on Telegram. For the best reports & opinion on politics, governance and more, subscribe to ThePrint on Telegram.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel.

11 Comments Share Your Views

11 COMMENTS

  1. Regards bow

    Topics– Corona Virus

    Sir
    Every creature has the ability to make antibodies in the blood to fight any virus.
    These abilities are the same as all beings,
    Is healthy. The corona virus was not affected by vegetarian creatures such as cows, buffaloes, goats. In the US zoo, the tiger (4), the lion (3) infection the corona. In Italy, dogs and cats became corona infection.
    It is evident that carnivorous creatures are weak in making human blood antibodies
    Is being certified and a vegetarian creature is able to make human blood antibodies.
    The toxin produced by the carnivores has a very bad effect on the ability to manufacture antibodies in the blood, and the blood of the carnivores attracts viruses. After being infected with the virus, the virus gets nourished from this toxin.
    When the infected patient is given an egg, meat or chicken during therapy, the corona virus is more powerful and the patient reaches a serious condition.
    Then there is also the need to note that some vegetarian individuals are also getting corona positive, which is the main reason
    Prolonged use of antibiotics due to any of their diseases. Patients like blood pressures, diabetes, kidney diseases, asthma, etc., constantly use English medicine so that they are too weak to make antibodies.
    If proper catering and proper Ayurvedic medicine are used, the infected patient can be able to make antibodies and be cured in just 15 days.
    We are unable to contact you, but if the proper scientific facts are clear in my words, you should please me to associate me with the task of saving the world from this epidemic.
    applicant
    Dhananjay singh
    Rae Bareli, Uttar Pradesh
    India
    Mobile–9170212345

  2. Hi, me Sudhansu Moharana. Karona virus is a structure of fat and protein. Alcohol containing 65%higher can be used for sanitizer that can destroy fat and protein layer. My question this alcohol if inhaled may destroy the karona virus inside. Suitable type of alcohol may be researched with antibiotics molecule so that destroy of virus and reconstruct of mucosa cells inside lungs, throat.

  3. Hello. I want to give you an opinion. To prevent infection of corona virus.
    The matter is small. But it is important. If we do research on this, then it can be possible.
    The corona virus vaccine can be prepared from crocodile blood.
    Crocodile blood can destroy HIV and MRSA. Because the symptoms of MRSA virus are also similar to Corona Wars. If we do some experiments with anti-flu drug Oseltmivir.Lopinavir.Ritonavir. Vaccine can be prepared. If research is done on this, it may be possible.

  4. Why does any animal not get affected with covid 19 and a human baby older less than 6 months does not get affected with pneumonia this theory hiding itself the treatment of covid 19 couses pneumonia please contact me I have been researching on pneumonia for last 15 years

  5. I’m not expert but u can try by using natural ingredients like pomegranate ,mint which have probability to fight with Curtis virus…

  6. I’m not expert but u can try by using natural ingredients like pomegranate ,mint which have probability to fight with Curtis virus…

  7. Those who suffer cough and huffing cough and have a lot they become sibiars, then they are given a course of TB. then doctors se their report and given the medicine to the TB course.now those days patient given tb course medicine, that works Kovid-19 patient?

  8. It just strike in my Mind or u can say it is just an Idea,we can research on Ants and can be use as medicine to eradicate Covid -19 ,just it strike on my Mind.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here