labs: Rapid tests not 100% accurate, but serve well with 70% sensitivity: DST secretary Ashutosh Sharma


From a Covid-19 ‘National Predictive Model’ and a five-second tunnel disinfection system for hospitals and educational institutes to home use ventilators, ‘active’ masks that kill the virus and better virus testing kits, the Department of Science & Technology and its various arms are running against the clock to scale up innovations by June. DST secretary Ashutosh Sharma speaks to ET’s Anubhuti Vishnoi about the battle against novel coronavirus from labs. Edited excerpts:


Scientific solutions to combat Covid-19

Given all constraints, supply lines down, personnel locked out, I think the scientific community and research infrastructure have responded with a sense of speed and purpose.

While the vaccine discovery and drug projects are still a long way off, we have started moving on several other fronts from diagnostics to preventive measures and healthcare interventions. There are 25 projects to study the pathology of virus, 800 startups are mapped for Covid-specific products, and 50 of these selected for financial support.

Products emerging from these will see scale within a month. One of the most significant projects we are working on is to create a national Covid-19 predictive model which will help guide policy decisions. Twenty research groups are working together to ensure a credible and scientific model comes up by June.

Arogya Setu App

I would say it is pretty secure. The question to be asked is, within the given situation and challenges, is this tool useful to us and the society and serves a purpose for larger public good? Rest every technology has a light and a shadow debate. It’s a choice for society to make keeping in mind extended sense of service.

Antibody Tests
Again, the question here is, does this test work to a satisfactory level and serve the purpose? There is no test with 100% accuracy. To my mind, a 70% test sensitivity and accuracy in the antibody test serves the purpose.

Covid-19 Key Learnings

Covid-19 has drawn attention to the need for problem-solving collaborative research and science, and the need for synergy with industry. This is also the time to think again about our real needs and priorities in the cultural, social and pricing contexts.


Source link

Apple’s virtual WWDC begins June 22

Recent Australian wildfires made worse by logging — ScienceDaily