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The rapid spread of coronavirus has prompted research worldwide to restrain deadly diseases. India has crossed the one million mark in cases and 25,000 deaths. It’s investing heavily in coronavirus research. By also exploring ways of using science and technology to fight this contagion. Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary at Ministry of Science and Technology, spoke about COVID-19. He stated the government’s multipronged approach to deal with the health crisis. Also, the mathematical models. Science and technology‘s role in government’s “Atmanirbhar Bharat” campaign, a lot more.

Coronavirus spread among the country_derje

What Is The Situation In India?

The coronavirus pandemic is evolving continuously. It has crossed 1 million cases and 25000 deaths in India. Covid-19, caused by the SARS CoV-2 virus and is a multidimensional problem. According to research, we know a little about its behavior and the spread. The communities all over the world are still researching it. Now, there is a bit clearer about how it’s transmitting. How it’s impacting different organs, which way the antibodies developed by the body. Study’s are going on over this matter. The department of science and technology (DST) opened many fronts to combat coronavirus.

Ashutosh Sharma_derje
What Is The Situation Of Lockdown In India?

We are strengthening basic research in different ways of transmission of the virus. What are its mechanisms of action, repurposing of the drugs, and developing the vaccines?. We have challenges as we have more densely populated cities. But, also considering its a large population. India has managed this situation with different strategies better than many developed countries. And, is still managing. Now, we are in the stage of a new normal as we cannot shut down our livelihood options.

By the time, we have speed up testing, which is one of the reasons we are getting more cases. So, with more testing, we can catch infections early and treat those infected. By this, we have a low death rate and a high recovery rate. We should not see the absolute numbers, that are proportional to the population. But, indicators like percentages of infected and recovered populations. The doubling period, the severity of cases, provides a bigger picture of interventions required.

What Is The Ministry Of Science And Technology Doing To Address The Research And Development?

“We have speed up and simplified the process to help our country’s fight against coronavirus. With the mapping of startups that are ready with products and technologies for coronavirus done. More than 60 startups to get funding to develop products and commercialize them. The products include ventilators, personal protective equipment (PPEs). Also, masks, disinfecting systems, diagnostics, and vaccine companies. The industries that demonstrated indigenous products supported in scaling up to required quantities.” Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology.

Ashutosh Sharma_derje

About 30 mid-sized NGOs have empowered to disseminate critical information on coronavirus. The latest developments on coronavirus propagated in a 10-20 minute news every day for three months. These placed on an internet-based TV channel, “India Science”. An interactive booklet called “COVID Katha” has also published in several languages. It’s easy to understand.

How The Mathematical Models For Coronavirus Protection Are Reliable? Can They Help Fighting Coronavirus?

Mathematical models are important in predicting the course of the disease and its impact. The models can be of immense use in planning and decision making. There are more than 10 modeling sub-groups in the country created to evolve a supermodel. And, has the trust of a large number of scientists working in this area.

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The Mathematical Models For Coronavirus Protection.

The first version of the supermodel expects to put up for scrutiny in 15 days. Modals are getting updated with the latest data. With practices and policies on local zoning and distancing measures. Models can also be used to tune our strategies and for chalking out the optimal paths. While models not always predict absolute numbers. Also, they can predict the relative impact and effectiveness of several interventions. Like relaxation of lockdowns in certain areas with a certain density of population. And, the impact of these interventions or lockdowns is best judged in some trends and percentages.

Also go through, quarantine memes

How Can Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) Use For Coronavirus Solutions?

Another group is creating methods of coronavirus diagnosis using AI and ML. They can be also applied along with telemedicine. AI is also used to hunt for repurposed drugs.

Ministry of Science and Technology_derje
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML).

So, repurposing the existing infrastructure is another creative method to fight coronavirus. The use of RT-PCR machines that were before meant for research in other areas is one example. Birbal Sahni Institute of Paleo-Sciences, Lucknow can study fossilized DNA. It’s now repurposed to conduct 500 COVID tests every day. The ministry also researching the lifestyles related to boosting of immunity. Also, strengthening lungs, and stress reduction, all that is relevant to COVID-19.

There is a program scientifically exploring yoga and meditation practices that may help. It’s also important to understand the problems that people at large face. And, their solutions by reaching out to a large number of population in small villages and towns. And, the National Innovation Foundation in Ahmedabad has engaged in one such exercise.

How The Ministry Is Ensuring That Scientifically Made Products And Technologies Can Penetrate The Market And Health Infrastructure?

“We have to learn, remember, and put in place various key lessons. While going forward to develop global-quality products with speed and scale.
Academia, research and development laboratories, industry, and startups are working together. They are working with a shared, clear, and present purpose that provides an early direction. The key is matching of knowledge-producing systems with knowledge consumption systems.” Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology.

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Health Infrastructure

This pandemic has stretched our healthcare system beyond capacities. Now, our country is striving to improve the health infrastructure.
“It’s important that products and technologies will evolve and get market access soon. There are several government initiatives in this direction. Preference for Indian companies where global tenders need not placed for orders less than ₹200 crores. Several other initiatives to help market access taken by the government. Like startups and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).” Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology.

Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology_derje
Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology.

With all constraints, we are working on becoming Atma Nirbhar. It’s done by engaging and building on our strengths, which are much. Several innovative ventilators produced within two months. And, those were earlier imported at twice the cost or more. Such examples from diagnostics to disinfectants, masks to PPEs can be also found.

Various science and technology departments are working on this issue. They have produced many technology products and solutions within a short time. Also, they did so by the power of cooperation and purpose. “I am sure these successes will replicate in our ongoing finding for vaccines and drugs. Our scientists are working for the vaccines hard to compress the usual timelines.” Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology.

All these lessons for the speedy development of relevant technologies. These will help our industry not only regain. But, do better than their pre-coronavirus performances.


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