CSIR cautions against letting guard down

“The only proven way to control the pandemic across the world is following some simple precautions of wearing face masks, personal hygiene and social distancing particularly during these festival times. A lot of ground has been covered in the last 10 months and understanding has begun to emerge leading to new therapies, diagnostics and vaccines about COVID-19 yet, there is still far more to uncover,” said Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) Director General Shekhar C. Mande on Wednesday.

In a communication to all CISR labs across the country, the DG cautioned against people congregating in one place and ensure the homes are as ventilated as possible. “During these festive times we usually witness large gatherings, family reunions, and celebrations. However, this virus has continued to ravage the world, spread wilder than wild fire, and has disrupted every sphere of human activity. With ‘unlock’ and more activities resuming, it is easy to forget the virus and jump into the festivities and celebrate which we all love to do,” he said.

Burden on medical staff

However, people should consider the workload on doctors and healthcare workers working relentlessly to ensure that affected individuals get the best care. “Festival is the time to pay respect to them by making sure that we don’t enhance the burden on them by overlooking the safety measures of containing the spread of the virus,” said Dr. Mande.

Indian scientists have been involved in “exciting developments” like the new diagnostic kit FELUDA developed at CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology; launch of Favipiravir by Cipla with CSIR technology; while findings about treating diseases from the age-old traditional knowledge of the Indian system are expected soon as also in vaccine development.

New lessons every day

“But, there is a still more to learn as there are many perplexing observations about the pandemic,” said the DG. “Why are some asymptomatic and recover on their own? It is not that people below 65 are not affected and people without diabetes are safe as even those without co-morbidities have the possibility of developing severe form of the disease. It clearly establishes the fact that we know little about the virus and the severity that it will hit with any one who comes in contact with the virus,” he warned.

Thus, “it will only be befitting tribute to countless COVID Warriors if we truly observe discipline during the festival season and not lead to explosion of the pandemic because of our complacence,” added the DG.

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2020 11:34:32 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/csir-cautions-against-letting-guard-down/article32966865.ece

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