THD NewsDesk, New Delhi: Moments following two vaccines were passed under contained use, and emergency use authorization by Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), Dr. Balram Bhargava, Director General of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), on Sunday said masks might never go out of routine practice.
“I think it’s a great day for India; it’s a great day for humanity at large. Two vaccines have been approved under restricted use and emergency use authorization, and it has been done following discussions by SEC. This is wonderful news for India and all of us,” Bhargava said.
However, he said that it is unknown how long the vaccine is going to be effective. “We don’t know how much of the population we’ll have to vaccinate to break the virus transmission. What we know is that we’ve been able to control the pandemic in the country by following Covid-19 appropriate behavior… I am of the opinion that masks will probably be the last to go and probably may never even go.”
Talking about the new variant of Crornavirus creating ‘havoc’ in the UK, the ICMR chief informed scientists of the National Institute of Virology (NIV) have successfully isolated the new virus strain it will be tested against different vaccines soon.
“New virus variant, which is now more than 60 percent infective and creating havoc in the UK, is worrisome. There are 29 patients in India with the same variant for which we should be cautious. We were able to isolate the new virus very early,” he stated.
“NIV scientists have successfully isolated the new virus strain, and this will be tested against different vaccines,” he said and added that he hopes “potentially Bharat Biotech vaccine will have some advantages over other vaccines on this new strain because it is a whole virus.”
ICMR said India has fortuitously isolated and cultured the UK-variant of Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19 disease. It is to notice that no other nation has yet reported successful isolation and culture of the UK-variant of SARS-CoV-2 and added that the scientists used Vero cell lines ICMR-NIV to culture the UK-variant of the virus.
Covid-19 vaccines of Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech have been granted permission for restricted use in an emergency, said Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI).
Notably, COVAXIN is an indigenously developed coronavirus vaccine manufactured by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the ICMR.