- Immune pressure on the virus may be related to the environment: ICMR Chief
- Dr Bhargava suggested against the use of anti-COVID therapies
- Dr Bhargava called to look for established benefits before using therapies
New Delhi: Non-judicious use of therapies that have not been established for COVID-19 treatment are responsible for putting “immune pressure on virus” and leads to virus mutations, ICMR Director-General Dr Balram Bhargava said on Tuesday (December 29). “Those therapies which are being touted as ‘anti-viral’ or ‘anti-COVID therapies’ and they have do not have benefits established in a scientific research paper, those therapies should not be used as they will put tremendous immune pressure on the virus and it will tend to mutate more, Dr Bhargava told ANI.
Speaking in the context of UK COVID virus strain mutation, Dr Bhargava said genetic mutations occur in the respiratory viruses but higher transmissibility is a point of concern.
Genetic mutations occur in the respiratory viruses and these minor drifts may occur from time to time but once several drifts occur it has higher transmissibility rate as it happened in the United Kingdom. So that is a point of concern although we are testing in India for virus variants regularly.
He said immune pressure on the virus may be related to the environment and is more related to the treatment, or other modalities which cause this immune pressure on the virus.
So it is important for our scientific community also that we do not put too much immune pressure on the virus and we have to maintain the judicious use of therapies which are going to benefit. If the benefit is not established, we should not use those therapies. Otherwise, they will put tremendous immune pressure on the virus and it will tend to mutate more, he said, noting that well-established therapies should be used.
He said the experts will be looking at data.
The vaccines that are the front-runners are targeting the S- protein and also targeting the M- RNA but we find that they will continue to be effective. We have to be very careful to look for any immunity breakthrough that may happen by vaccination, he said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.