Focus: GS-III Science and Technology
Why in news?
- India is all set to join World Health Organisation’s “Solidarity trial” aimed at rapid global search for drugs to treat COVID-19.
- The country has stayed away so far from this multi-country trial “due to its small sample size and because our contribution would have looked minuscule,” said Head of Epidemiology and Communicable diseases at Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
Details and India’s position
- The Solidarity Trial will test four different drugs or combinations — remdesivir, a combination of two drugs, lopinavir and ritonavir, the two drugs plus interferon beta, and chloroquine — and will compare their effectiveness to what is called standard of care, the regular support hospitals treating COVID-19 patients use now.
- There are 30 vaccine groups that are operational worldwide right now looking at COVID-19, with five having gone into animal-toxicity study.
- India will express its interest to participate in the trial for the Indian population when we feel the time is right
- While the Centre has expeditiously moved to exempt Medical Devices and Equipment manufacturing, warehousing and distribution from the lockdown, the implementation rests with State governments and local level administrators that has been clamping down on manufacturing, warehousing, distribution, of medical devices and equipment.