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COVID-19: Lucknow Lab Records Shortest Average Time To Process Samples

The BSIP is currently processing and reporting the samples in an average time of 18 hours.

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LUCKNOW (Uttar Pradesh): As the COVID 19 patient numbers are recorded, a testing hub in Lucknow for the disease has recorded the shortest average time to process samples among institutions in the country.

With 1000 to 1200 samples being tested per day, the story of the rise of Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeosciences (BSIP), an autonomous institute of the Department of Science and Technology, to the top institution not only in the state but throughout the country in terms of average processing time of samples is one of sheer grit and dedication.

With a small team of 8 members, the lab is running 24×7 to test samples from various districts of Uttar Pradesh. The number of samples tested by BSIP has crossed 50,000, of which approximately 1600 samples were reported positive for SARS-CoV-2 with zero pendency. Keeping in light the present scenario and to aid the authorities to contain this pandemic, BSIP has provided testing reports (on daily basis) to the concerned districts in a record time of 24 hours.


BSIP joined hands with the Government of Uttar Pradesh to combat COVID-19 in the state, becoming one of the five Central Government research institutes in Lucknow, which took initial steps to start laboratory testing of COVID-19. Availability of a BSL-2A laboratory, primarily for ancient DNA work in the Institute, became the advantage needed to immediately prepare for testing.

The BSIP approached the GOI and the UP Government in early April for the necessary approvals for COVID-19 testing. Subsequent to inspection and approval of the laboratory by the ICMR and the UP Government, BSIP became the first of the five Central Govt. Institute in Lucknow to start with RT-PCR based testing, from 2nd May 2020.

The institution started with testing 100-150 samples per day that have now scaled up to 1000-1200 samples per day from the month of July 2020. With proper lab management and dedication of the lab staff, BSIP decreased its average time to process the samples.


The BSIP is currently processing and reporting the samples in an average time of 18 hours. Furthermore, the pendency of the samples is almost zero within 18 hours after receiving the samples.

Apart from diagnostic service, the BSIP is also actively involved in research activities related to COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, real-time tracking of COVID-19 spread in India, using SARS-CoV-2 genotype-based analysis, is being developed.

“RT-PCR is a perfect example of repurposing the existing human resources and infrastructure built for research to effectively address the needs in the time of crisis with speed, scale and resolve,” said Prof Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, DST.

The 8 members of the teamwork with determination and commitment under the supervision of Dr Vandana Prasad, Director, BSIP, and Dr Anupam Sharma, Nodal-in-charge of the COVID-19 lab. Dr Niraj Rai, in-charge of the ancient DNA laboratory, is also in-charge of COVID-19 facility. Nagarjuna P., as the COVID-19 lab manager, takes care of all the requirements for continuous testing in the laboratory. Dr Indu Sharma, Dr Varun Sharma, with Nagarjuna P. work in the BSIP BSL-2A laboratory.

Mr Satya Prakash, who is a science teacher, working voluntarily, takes care of the timely reporting of the results to the respective authorized portals.


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COVID19

COVID-19: Clinical Trial Of Ayurvedic Remedy Shows Encouraging Results

Over 85% of patients on the natural protocol tested negative for coronavirus on day 5.

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MUMBAI (Maharashtra): A groundbreaking interim report on a clinical trial being conducted in three hospitals has shown that Covid-19 patients on natural treatment are resolving most symptoms earlier than those on conventional medicines. The interim report on a combination treatment of an Ayurvedic remedy called ‘Immunofree’ by Corival Life Sciences, and Nutraceutical called ‘Reginmune’ by Biogetica have shown exceptional results as against the present government SOP of conventional medicines for coronavirus treatment.

When compared with conventional treatments for COVID-19, Ayurvedic treatment has shown quicker improvement too. 86.66 per cent of patients undergoing a natural treatment tested negative by the fifth day vs 60 per cent patients on conventional treatment.

On the 10th day, all patients tested negative for the virus after Ayurvedic treatment.

Furthermore, numerous tests such as C reactive protein, Procalcitonin, D Dimer and RT-PCR for novel coronavirus are also showing 20 to 60 per cent better improvement for the natural treatment, when compared to conventional treatment.


Numerous subjective endpoints such as body pain and fatigue are also leaning towards natural treatment. Both Clinician’s Global Assessment of Symptoms and Subject’s Global Assessment of Symptoms clearly showed improvements on both arms showing more significant data in the test group.

The three hospitals where Ayurvedic clinical trials are taking place in India are Government Medical Hospital, Srikakulam Andhra Pradesh; Parul Sevashram Hospital, Vadodara, Gujarat, and Lokmanya Hospital Pune, Maharashtra.

The conventional treatment in use depends on the severity of the patient and includes HCQ, Azithromycin, Favipiravir and Cetirizine. This trial also has broader inclusion criteria than others conducted on natural medicine as it includes patients up to 70 years old, with low oxygen saturation and co-morbidities.


It is significant to note that none of the patients on the natural treatment progressed past moderate, needed ventilators or had any adverse events. These precedent-setting results have led to accelerated enrolment into this trial and statistically significant results should be ready by month-end.

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COVID-19: IIT Kharagpur Develops Telemedicine Tech For Corona Homecare

The system is accessible by any standard internet browser and also from a mobile device.

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KHARAGPUR (West Bengal): Amid the world, and India, struggling with the mayhem caused by COVID-19 pandemic. researchers at IIT Kharagpur’s Department of Computer Science & Engineering have developed a telemedicine system, iMediX.

The system integrates homecare with healthcare services from the hospital. Considering the emergent needs due to the pandemic, the system facilitates critical health care support to the patients at their doorsteps through remote consultation by a physician.

The system is accessible by any standard internet browser and also from a mobile device.

In this system, a patient signs up to get an account by providing his/her Email ID or Mobile number. Then the patient can make a request for consultation by choosing a Department of the hospital, entering the chief complaints and uploading necessary scanned medical records. The hospital administration processes the request and assigns a doctor. The doctor after logging in sets an appointment date and time for the patient and the system communicates the information to the patient by Email and SMS. On the day of the visit, the doctor consults the patient using video conferencing and advises the patient by writing a prescription, which is sent by Email to the patient. The patient can also download the prescription from his or her account.


Prof. Jayanta Mukhopadhyay, the lead researcher in this field remarked, “As the number of cases of home isolation and home quarantine is increasing, the system will cater to the needs of the present situation. It would be useful also to follow up and treat aged patients.”

iMedX is being adopted for public use right at its home, IIT Kharagpur on-campus healthcare system.

Director, Prof. V K Tewari stated, “In April we had announced eight R&D projects for providing COVID healthcare services. This telemedicine project is the key among them, especially, keeping in mind its effectiveness in our own community. When our campus will start operating in full strength close to 30000 people including students would be in need of healthcare services and this technology will reduce over-exposure of the healthcare staff while efficiently catering to the population. While we are promoting physical distancing, it seems only appropriate to introduce this digital platform to meet the healthcare needs of the campus community effectively. We are creating user accounts for our medical cardholders who can avail the consultation facility home through video conferencing”.

The software was launched on October 2, 2020, on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti and will be integrated at the Dr B. C. Roy Technology Hospital of the Institute which provides emergency healthcare services for the campus residents and employees, confirmed the office of Principal Medical Officer Dr Samir Dasgupta.


Deputy Director, Prof. S K Bhattacharyya remarked, “Since we have a large number of OPD patients, it will be extremely beneficial to them as the movement to the hospital is extremely difficult for them. Also, for our students, the waiting time at the hospital will get reduced as this will be very helpful to them.”

A base model was installed at Swasthya Bhawan, Govt. of West Bengal on trial basis. Field trials are also underway for the base model at Bangladesh.

Director Tewari further shared his plan to expand the use of this technology to the people outside the campus through the upcoming super-speciality hospital of IIT Kharagpur.

The researchers are already in touch with healthcare MSMEs for commercialization of the copyrighted version of the technology.

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COVID-19: 6Cr Indians Likely Exposed To Corona – 2nd ICMR Sero-Survey

Urban slum & non-slum areas have a higher prevalence of Corona infection than rural areas.

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NEW DELHI: ICMR’s second sero-survey findings released on Tuesday has revealed that one in 15 individuals aged 10 years and above were estimated to be exposed to SARS-CoV2 by August, showing that a considerable population is still susceptible to COVID-19.

Briefing media on Tuesday, DG ICMR Dr Balram Bhargava said, 6.6 per cent of over 29 thousand people, aged 10 and above, surveyed from 17th August to 22nd September showed evidence of past exposure to COVID-19 and 7.1 per cent of the adult population, aged 18 and above, also showed evidence of past exposure to it.

He said lockdown, containment and behavioural change at the population level have effectively checked the potential spread of SARS-CoV2.


Dr Bhargava said the risk in urban slums was twice than that in non-slum urban areas and four times the risk in rural settings.

He said that the second sero-survey was conducted in the same 700 villages and wards from 70 districts from 21 states which were covered during the first survey.

But this time, it surveyed different households and individuals.


The ICMR DG said, since a large proportion of the population is still susceptible, prevention fatigue has to be avoided and the 5T strategy — test, track, trace, treat, technology — has to be adhered to.

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