Covid-19 and it’s future in India: Here’s what the Indian Govt. Principal Scientific Advisor has to say about

“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?”

“There are two requirements for success. The first is a shared sense of purpose with our people, all humanity, particularly the poor and vulnerable. The second is the ability to take well-thought-out steps. Both are needed to pushback the disease. Our scientists have both. ”

“We have a powerful enemy designed, by chance, over millions of years. It is powerful but unintelligent. Its ways are getting better known each day. For success, we must be relentless, use our science at the right time and place and act intelligently and not randomly.”

‘So, our scientists’ task is to address all aspects of the short-, medium-, and long-haul; in a manner where we are never fatigued, but the virus is. We each need to play our part to help the Government’s and the world’s efforts succeed.”

“The @MoHFW_INDIA @ICMRDELHI @ndmaindia and the SDMAs, the State Health Ministries are the frontline. They deal with testing every aspect of the disease and act on that information nationally and through State health. @IndiaDST @DBTIndia @CSIR_IND @GoI_MeitY work with all.”

“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. See https://t.co/fAcu56ykry . All relevant information is passed to the @WHO and their site is excellent and tells us what is going on world-over.”

“It is impressive to see how the world has come together to fight Covid-19. You are aware of the G-20 and SAARC initiatives. Amongst other matters, these relate to important issues on the supply of essential components and chemicals for testing, diagnosis, and treatment.”

“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.”

“@MoHFW_INDIA has put in place training, or doctors, nurses, other frontline workers in including Asha and Anganwadi workers. @GoI_MeitY and our IT+health research institutions have come together with industry for components that allow this to scale.”

In training in this crisis, every potential “glitch needs to be anticipated but the speed in rolling out is also essential. @MoHFW_INDIA with @GoI_MeitY scientists have linked with every level in the health system The public health system is activated.”

“Many of you have pointed out the need for more diagnostic tests. The @ICMRDELHI is amplifying test sites and you will see many more being done. More laboratories are being opened for testing across states.”

“Efforts to increase test capacity by the ‘pooling’ of samples are being evaluated. This is not simple and needs the development and testing of optimization algorithms so that one positive in a large pool is not missed., for example.”

“There are new tests being rolled-out, globally, for the presence, or traces of the virus having visited a person. These can be useful as a first-pass, even if they are cruder than the ‘gold-standard’ RT-PCR. Indian labs are developing these kinds of tests too.”

“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”

“Our industry is working on vaccines, re-purposing, critical-care treatment and partnering with academia and start-ups. The intensity of their pro bono efforts with Government is also impressive.”

Similarly, NGOs, from the smallest to the largest are working with state- and central- governments. In all these efforts, our scientists, within and outside government are involved.”

“We sometimes are critical of our institutions, industry, saying that they are not connected enough to society. Today we see something inspiring. Mathematicians, biologists, clinicians, industry IT; coming together intelligently with health professionals, taking on leadership.”

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