Dr Shekhar C. Mande, Director General, Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) on Thursday spoke to Republic TV about India's efforts in finding a possible cure or a vaccine for the treatment of COVID-19 which has caused havoc globally. He said that CSIR has collaborated with the Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) and are working on certain medicinal plants to find a cure for COVID-19.
He said, "We are actually working on multiple things and our collaboration with AYUSH is one of those. We have identified four different AYUSH formulations as a potential therapy. The discussions are on a very advanced stage that how do we start clinical trials of all these four. So, in a day or two, both Secretary AYUSH Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha Ji and I will take a decision on how do we start trials on this."
He added, "But apart from this, something similar, something called phytopharmaceutical in India while in the USA its called a botanical. So we are also working on those and a trial of which with one of the major pharmaceutical company is already now starting."
Answering the query on when can a cure or vaccine for COVID-19 can be found, Dr Mande said, "That's a very difficult question to give a definite answer. What we can do best is start the trials. There is a process of starting the trials and we have already begun one vaccine trial since yesterday with AIIMS Delhi, AIIMS Bhopal and PGIMER Chandigarh where we are recruiting patients."
Dr Mande said that there are many countries which are working on many aspects of vaccines and drugs and India's strategy is "more or less the same" with the strategy of any other country that in terms of drugs all of them are looking at "Repurposing drugs" and India is also part of WHO's trial named "Solidarity" The CSIR chief said that in terms of vaccines, countries have taken different approaches.
With 941 more COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, India's coronavirus tally crossed the 12,000 mark with the tally reading at 12,380 cases, said the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Thursday. Out of the total tally, 10,477 patients are active cases while 1,489 patients have been cured, discharged and migrated. With 37 more deaths reported in the last 24 hours, the death toll has risen to 414.