Gujarat Global News Network, Ahmedabad
Scanning of Novel Coronavirus is now possible in India according to Ragesh M Shah Chairman and senior scientist of Ahmedabad based Online Telemedicine Research Institute which had done extensive work during outbreak of SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) Coronavirus in China and other countries in 2002.
He said that though scientists have yet to establish the identity of this new virus, it is very clear that it is close to SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) Coronavirus. On the basis of its vast experience of work on SARS and later swine flu (H1N1 Flu virus) the Institute has started work on the production of machines to scan Novel Coronavirus.
He said that the WHO has also declared the epidemic as health emergency.
In case it spreads in India, he says, the Institute has started a capacity building programme by starting training of people to isolate and differentiate affected people. At the same time it is also preparing people to run machines.
The experience and data of SARS is proving very useful in developing machine and other infrastructure support of Novel Coronavirus. At the time of outbreak of SARS, the Online Telemedicine Research Institute had very actively and closely worked with government of China, Malaysia and Gujarat.
To begin with the Institute has started two pronged strategy. On one hand they have started training of people to work on machines and on the other they have been processing information of patients to have a fool proof future ready system.
Considering the expertise of the Institute in mass health programmes and its experience of SARS and Swine Flu, Gujarat government has already involved them in this problem also, Ragesh says.
He is very confident that China and other countries are well prepared to deal with the new challenge. At the time of SARS they did not have clinical and infrastructure system to deal with this kind of massive health hazard. But now world is ready.
Now, he says, the Institute is also ready to develop a system for the new health challenge with good response time. Talking about Novel Coronavirus, Ragesh Shah says that it is less severe but more transmissible as compared to SARS. As a result, casualty is less but outreach is more.
He points out that the institute is different from others in the sense that it has approach of use of Science and Technology in dealing with the problem instead of clinical research. We are solution based rather diagnosis centered organization. Institute is known for using Science and Technology in dealing with mass health problems. Ragesh Shah was declared as one of 17 faces of millennium in 1999 by India Today for his contribution of Science and Technology in mass health. He is bio medical engineer. The recognition was for his initiative in mass health during Kumbh.
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