Fight against coronavirus will be won through vaccine: Niti Aayog member
As India’s Covid-19 infection tally climbed to over 1.58 lakh, the government on Thursday said the country’s pharmaceutical industries are trying their best to find a vaccine to beat the virus.
“The fight against coronavirus will be won through vaccines and drugs. Our country’s science and technology institutions and pharma industry are very strong,” VK Paul, a member of the Niti Aayog said at a briefing.
Like in many other countries, India’s scientific institutions are also working furiously to find a vaccine for the virus that has affected almost 5.8 million people across the world.
The government’s Principal Scientific Advisor (PSA) Professor K. Vijay Raghavan who also addressed reporters at the briefing said the country is on the right track to develop a vaccine.
“There are about a total of 30 groups in India, big industry to individual academics, who are trying to develop vaccines, of around 20 are keeping a good pace,” Raghavan said.
He also spoke of a hackathon for computational drug discovery.
“All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and CSIR have embarked on a drug discovery hackathon - this is a high-end hackathon - where students are trained with information on how to do computational drug discovery,” he said.
Asked whether the coronavirus has mutated since it first struck late last year, Raghavan said there has been no change in the fundamental properties of the virus.
“We have not seen any change in the fundamental properties of the virus till now. In the next few months both nationally and internationally tests will be available that can be done on an individual,” he said.
He also underlined the importance of the RT-PCR test regimen to detect coronavirus.
“RT-PCR test is testing for the presence of the virus and is agnostic whether you have symptoms or not. Whether you are asymptomatic, if you have the virus it will be detected,” Raghavan said.