India 5th Country in the World to Isolate the Coronavirus: ICMR

Dr Nivedita Gupta of the ICMR explains common symptoms of the virus, and when a vaccine is expected. 

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2 min read
India 5th Country in the World to Isolate the Coronavirus: ICMR

ICMR has said that India is only the 5th country in the world to isolate the coronavirus. It's a big step for the country as you need positive cases of the virus to be able to do this. Isolating the virus is the first step to vaccine development.

In a press briefing on March 13th, Friday, Indian Council of Medical Research said isolating the virus requires a positive patient. With few cases, it was a tough job, said Dr Balram Bhargava, adding that even with less number of samples, ICMR scientists have managed to achieve this.

A total of 20 isolates are ready with them and they are 99.9% similar to the Wuhan virus.

FIT spoke to Dr Nivedita Gupta, head of the control room at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) who took us through the common symptoms of the virus:


Speaking about India preparedness, ICMR also spoke about expanding India's testing capacities. Currently 65 labs are acting as primary testing facilities. They have another 30 to 40 collection labs.

Explaining the COVID-19 death, the experts spoke about how the patient moved from one hospital to another. They said they'll revise testing protocols week on week depending upon developments.

Expanding on the stages of the disease, ICMR said that currently India is at stage two, where local transmission occurs. Next step is community transmission followed by an epidemic. It is at the epidemic stage that Italy and China shut down cities.

Stressing on the importance of self quarantine and social isolation, they said it will take 30 days of restrictions to avoid community transmission.

Dr Gupta added that a vaccine is the goal but the result may take up to 3 years to pass the appropriate clinical trials.

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