Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday chaired a meeting of the special task force created to meet the challenge posed by the highly contagious coronavirus. The meeting was meant to discuss the progress in India's efforts in vaccine development, drug discovery, diagnosis and testing.
After the meet, a statement from the government said more than 30 vaccines for coronavirus are in different stages of development. A few of them are at the trial stage.
Three approaches are being taken, where drug development is concerned. These include re-purposing existing drugs, development of new drugs and exploration of anti-viral properties of plant extracts and products.
Several research institutions and start-ups have developed new tests -- both for RT-PCR approach and for the antibody detection, the government said. Also the capacity for both kinds of tests has received a boost by the linking of laboratories all over the country.
Applauding the coming together of computer science, chemistry and biotechnology in drug discovery, PM Modi suggested that a hackathon be held linking computer science to synthesis and testing in the laboratory. The successful candidates could be taken up by the start- ups for further development and scaling up.
The innovative and original manner in which Indian scientists -- from basic to applied sciences -- have come together with industry is heartening, the Prime Minister said.
"This kind of pride, originality and sense of purpose should dominate our approach going ahead. It is only then that we can be among the best in the world and not followers, in science," he said.