Various government institutions are involved in the process of finding means to cushion the impact of COVID-19:
1. Indian Council of Medial Research (ICMR) – The ICMR is at the fore-front of finding short-term and long-term solutions to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. The ICMR has been continuously issuing advisories, notifications and guidelines to hospitals and the public in general. The ICMR has also constituted a National Task Force for COVID-19 which has recommended the use of hydroxy-chloroquine for high risk population. The ICMR has also issued detailed guidelines for testing of COVID-19 in private laboratories in India and has recommended that the maximum cost of testing for COVID-19 should not increase Rs. 4500 (Rs. 1500 for screening test and Rs. 3000 for confirmation test).
2. Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) – The CSIR labs across the country have been actively pursuing and encouraging research for a medicine for COVID-19 and other solutions. (CSIR)-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT) has joined hands with Cipla to manufacture COVID-19 drugs. Also, CSIR lab in Himachal Pradesh has developed a bio-sanitiser to battle COVID-19.
3. IIT Delhi – IIT Delhi has developed a test kit which could substantially reduce the cost of diagnosing COVID-19. The kit is currently undergoing clinical trials. Moreover, IIT Delhi has also developed cost effective hand sanitisers “meeting WHO standards”.
4. Department of Biotechnology (DBT) – DBT has invited project proposals for developing diagnostics, vaccines, novel therapeutics, repurposing of drugs or any other intervention to curb the spread of COVID-19.
5. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India (MoHFW) – MoHFW has been acting as an ideal interface between the government and the public by regularly updating the general population with the notifications, guidelines and advisories.
6. State governments – ‘Health’ being a state subject under the Constitution of India, active support of state governments is imperative to tackle the menace of COVID-19. Therefore, a number of states have taken steps like complete lockdown, curfews, testing of suspected patients and regular sharing of data with the Central Government.
Moreover, other institutions like the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Department of Pharmaceuticals have joined hands to develop a remedial drug for COVID-19.
Source: Invest India