The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is all set to start a study in about 75 districts of the country that have the maximum number of COVID-19 cases to check whether community transmission in India has started. This study was planned to be conducted through rapid antibody test kits. However, it was postponed when these kits showed variations in results. Now, it has been planned to conduct this study through ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) test kits.
According to a senior scientist at ICMR, "Residents from red, green and orange zones would randomly be tested for COVID-19 to see whether they have developed antibodies against the disease or not."
Another scientist from ICMR, requesting anonymity, told ANI: "We had planned to conduct a study through rapid antibody test. Since these rapid test kits failed, we postponed our plan. Now, we are likely to use the ELISA kit to do the study. This will let us know whether the individual has developed antibodies against the virus." He further said that by next week ICMR will be able to give full details of this particular study.
Earlier in the day, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has received approval from Drug Controller General of India (DGCI) for its two clinical trial drugs - 'favipiravir' and 'phytopharmaceutical'. Favipiravir is a drug which is commonly used in Japan, China and some other countries, to treat influenza that has a very broad spectrum of RNA polymerase.
The CSIR is exploring a native herb as a biological medicine or phytopharmaceutical, which is already being tested as medicine for dengue for its efficacy to combat COVID-19. CSIR Director General Shekhar Mande said that they will start the clinical trial within a week.
"The CSIR is working with multiple renowned pharmaceutical companies and trying to see whether we can bring a certain solution to the market as an intervention against COVID-19. In this regard, few clinical trials have already been initiated in partnership with certain companies last night. The DCGI has given us approval for clinical trials of two drugs so we will soon begin with it," he said.
The country has seen 3,390 new cases and 103 new deaths in the last 24 hours. Along with it, 1,273 people have recovered. According to the latest update from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the number of total Coronavirus cases in the country has climbed to 56,342, including 37,916 active cases. While 1,886 deaths have been reported overall, around 16,540 people have been cured/discharged/migrated. Meanwhile, Maharashtra and Gujarat have the highest number of cases in the country with 17,974 and 7,012 cases respectively.
(With Inputs from ANI)