TODAY -

MU discourse studies origin, containment of Covid-19
Source: Chronicle News Service

Imphal, May 31 2021: As a part of Fit India Movement, Manipur University Fit India Campaign Committee and Fit India Club organised the fourth virtual series of National Talks with MU Department of Biotechnology head Prof Lisam Shanjukumar Singh delivering a talk on "Covid-19: Science of Variants, Vaccine, Testing and their Management" on Monday.

In a release, MU Fit India Campaign Committee & Fit India Club convener Dr L Santosh Singh informed that Prof Lisam Shanjukumar Singh, in his lecture referred to findings of two British scientists that the origin of this SARS-Cov-2 virus is not natural, but manufactured by genetic engineering in research lab.

He mentioned that all viruses evolve and mutate over time and SARS-Cov-2 is not different and it's acquiring 1-2 new mutations every month.

Explaining about the top variants of SARS Cov-2 in the world, he also elucidated on some variants concerning India, especially that of B.1.617 variant which is responsible for second wave in India.

Discussing about the need for sequencing of SARS-Covid-19 genomes circulating in Manipur, he said that it is better to know the variant circulating in Manipur.

It can be done but needs permission and funding.

Moreover, as it is expensive endeavour, it is better to utilise the resources in testing more and more samples by RT-PCR.

Prof L Shanjukumar also talked about the highly sophisticated human body's immune system and how a vaccine works in our body to defend from a disease-causing virus.

He then explained about the three approaches to designing the vaccines and analysing the advantages and disadvantages of various vaccine strategies, and also mentioned that RNA vaccine strategy has been approved for the first time in the world during this Covid-19 pandemic for emergency use authorization (EUA).

Regarding the interval between the two doses of vaccine, he shared the findings of the studies mentioning that antibody responded more than two-fold higher after an interval of 12 or more weeks compared with an interval of less than six weeks.

In his lecture, Shanjukumar also analysed the testing mechanisms of Covid-19 explaining steps involved in RAT as well as RT-PCR tests.

He also suggested that RT- PCR facility should be set up in all the districts, results of RT-PCR tests should be given within 24 hours, weekly quality control of the labs should be done to avoid chances of contamination, mass testing and mass vaccination at the earliest should be done and there should be mandatory isolation of Covid-positive persons in the state.

Answering the questions of the participants, he said that it is quite difficult task to develop a common antigen to protect from any kind of SARS-Cov 2 variants.

As studies have not been done in India for combined use of Covaxin and Covishield, it is not advisable to take different vaccines in 1st and 2nd doses.

He also mentioned that taking of 3rd dose with a different and newly developed vaccine may be the only solution to protect from the Covid-19 variants, the release said.

The programme was moderated by MU Department of Library & Information Science head Dr Ch Ibohal Singh and co-moderated by Department of Manipuri associate professor Dr Chirom Rajketan Singh.


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