NEW DELHI, Apr 10 : Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances,Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh was today briefed about the new “Paper Strip Test” for diagnosing COVID 19, which is being developed by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
In a Video Conference meeting, Director General CSIR Dr Shekhar C. Mande and Directors of CSIR laboratories from across the country discussed the current status of the possible new diagnostic kits to detect Corona infection and the status of the drugs potentially effective against Corona virus.
Dr Jitendra Singh was given a detailed presentation about CRISPR based “Paper Strip Test” created by CSIR to perform SARS-CoV2 Nucleic Acid testing in resource-limited settings, which will remove the need for expensive real-time PCR machines while maintaining high sensitivity and specificity in COVID-19 diagnosis.
As far as the re-purposed drugs are concerned, it was informed that CSIR has prioritized, in consultation with major Pharma companies namely Cipla and Mylan, to develop non-infringing processes for two clinical drugs that are currently re-proposed for COVID-19 treatment. One of them is Favipiravir, which is extensively used in China and Japan for COVID 19 as a treatment drug. The other is Remdesivir developed by Gilead in the USA for Ebola but currently undergoing phase-III trials for Corona in several countries. CSIR has developed a process to make this drug and work with Cipla and Mylan and would be ready to launch as soon as trials are done.
Meanwhile, several CSIR laboratories in the country, including Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine (IIIM) Jammu, are helping in COVID-19 testing by facilitating and conducting the test as well training the healthcare workers from Government hospitals.
CSIR has also undertaken to develop Ventilators which will be certified by the end of April 2020. BHEL is the production partner in this venture.
At the same time, Hand Held Device “Truenat ” developed by CSIR has been approved for testing of Coronavirus. Personal Protective Equipments (PPEs), Electrostatic Disinfectant Sprays and 3D Polymer Face Shields are also being supplied by CSIR.