The World Health Organisation (WHO) has praised India’s efforts in containing the spread of coronavirus that has claimed around 7000 lives and infected 1.82 lac people worldwide. The virus that originated from Wuhan, China has affected 125 people in India, leading to 3 casualties so far.
The representative of WHO to India, Henk Bekedam said, “The commitment from the Indian government and the Prime Minister’s Office has been enormous, very impressive. It is one of the reasons why India is still doing quite well. I am very impressed that everyone has been mobilised.”
He added, “We have very good research capacity in India and especially at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and department of health research. They have been able to identify the virus. Now India will continue to be part of the research community.”
Henk Bekedam, WHO Representative to India on #Coronavirus: The commitment from Indian govt, the Prime Minister’s Office has been enormous, very impressive. It is one of the reasons why India is still doing quite well. I am very impressed that everyone has been mobilised. pic.twitter.com/RtNSMTsiag— ANI (@ANI) March 17, 2020
“We have a simple message to all countries – test, test, test. All countries should be able to test all suspected cases, they cannot fight this pandemic blindfolded.” WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus had said earlier.
India had become the fifth country in the world after Japan, Thailand, USA and China to successfully isolate the life-threatening Covid-19 strain. The feat was achieved by the scientists at the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune where 11 strains of the Covid-19 were isolated from a patient.
“The strains are the prerequisite for conducting any research related to viruses,” said Raman R. Gangakhedkar, head of the epidemiology and communicable diseases division of the Indian Council of Medical Research. This is hailed as the first step towards the development of drugs and vaccines against the pandemic by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
According to reports, the isolated strain has a 99.98% match with the virus in China’s Wuhan. This significant medical breakthrough will help India in developing a vaccine for the deadly Coronavirus. Although it will still take one and a half to two years to develop a vaccine, even if the trial procedures are expedited.