Feluda Covid-19 test likely to begin in next few weeks: Harsh Vardhan

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New Delhi, October 11: Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Harsh Vardhan interacted with the users of social media in the fifth episode of Sunday Dialogue and answered the questions asked by them.

Harsh Vardhan shared the good news of the introduction of the Feluda ( Named after Satyajit Ray’s famed detective) test for the coronavirus disease in the days to come.

Vardhan told during the programme that testing of the Feluda kit meant for Covid-19 conducted on more than 2000 patients at the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB) and in private laboratories showed 96 percent sensitivity and 98 percent specificity.

“Likewise, compared to Indian Council of Medical Research’s (ICMR) currently accepted criteria of at least 95 percent sensitivity to RT-PCR kits and at least 99 percent specificity, the Feluda test appears to be correct,” he added.

He said that the Feluda paper strip test of SARS-CoV-2 virus causing Covid-19 has been developed by CSIR-IGIB and has been approved by the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) for commercial use.

Terming the rumours and misconceptions about Corona as baseless, the Health Minister gave detailed information about the role of Ayurveda in the war against Covid, he said that ICMR is working on cases of re-infection, criteria for selection of vaccine and Covid’s vaccine.

Knowing the difficulties faced by the residents of Chandni Chowk parliamentary constituency, he gave details of his contact on the public platform and assured that all the issues faced by the residents of the area will be resolved on priority basis.

He stated that the Covid-19 vaccine is currently undergoing testing and the vaccine is of two doses and three doses. Two doses will be required for the Serum Institute of India (SII) and Bharat Biotech vaccine, while three doses will be necessary for the Cadila Health Care vaccine. Doses are still being tested in various pre-clinical vaccine stages.

On the need to include other new candidates in the form of Covid vaccine, he said that given the large population of India, no single vaccine or vaccine manufacturer will be able to meet the requirement of vaccine across the country. Therefore, we are ready to consider the feasibility of using several vaccines of COVID-19 in the country as per the availability of population of India.

The Union Minister said that e-Sanjivani has more than 12,000 practitioners in the health departments of various state governments and their services are received by people from 510 districts in 26 states of the country. It took three months to get one lakh consultations on this platform, while the next one lakh consultations were taken in just three weeks. This is a huge success.

During the Sunday Dialogue, Harsh Vardhan informed that the Government of India (GOI) had released Rs 3,000 crore to the States and Union Territories to overcome the corona in the first phase.

He said that there are many studies related to the mixture of Guduchi, Ashwagandha, Guduchi and Pipli and AYUSH-64, which prove that they have immunity, anti-viral, antipyretic and antiinflammatory properties. In silico studies have shown good proximity of these drugs to the Covid-19 virus.

He also stated that scientific studies have been initiated on the recommendation of a multi-disciplinary workforce constituted by the government to evaluate the impact of secondary prevention and management of prophylaxis, Covid-19.

Regarding the benefits of Chyawanprash, Harsh Vardhan said that the information available from clinical studies shows that people who regularly take Chyawanprash in a certain time period, their overall health level and immunity improves. Although sugar is an essential element, people can take sugar-free Chyawanprash available in the market if they wish.