Over 600 volunteers from Research Scholars of India offer to join fight against COVID-19
CHENNAI: Over 600 volunteers from Research Scholars of India (RSI), a group
representing the interests of research scholars, are offering to join the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. Based on their experience working in prestigious scientific institutions across the country, the volunteers said they are willing to take part in research activities pertaining to the pandemic.
These scholars have expertise in many useful and highly demanding areas like molecular diagnosis, clinical sample handling, RNA isolation, cDNA preparation, RT-PCR, data analysis, synthesis of drugs and instrumental analysis etc.
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"Many of us are working actively on virology and coronaviruses as well. We have been handling complicated experiments on a very regular basis in our laboratories and are trained to handle the protocols and safety measures to handle viral cultures/isolates. It is our humble request to the government to allow our contribution towards finding remedies and measures to contain the viral infection of COVID-19. We also strongly believe that the contribution and experience gained herein will be beneficial towards the control and remediation of future microbial/viral outbreaks," said RSI National Representative and Coordinator Nikhil Gupta, who is also an alumnus of IIT Madras, to The New Indian Express.
Gupta said the RSI has written to Director General of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Balram Bhargava, Minister of Health and Family Welfare Harsh Vardhan and Principal Scientific Adviser K Vijay Raghavan. "We are expecting a positive response. The health minister has responded saying ICMR was getting involved in an international research initiative."
"Since our scholars are distributed throughout the nation from north to south, we believe a truly coordinated effort can be instrumental towards early identification, prognosis and remediation of this virus. Meanwhile, research scholars from backgrounds other than chemistry/life sciences/medical sciences are also willing to provide their services in terms of mathematical modelling and statistical analysis, as well as ground report and field studies on vectors of transmission and community level studies," Gupta said.