Non-judicious use of therapies for Covid-19 triggers the virus mutation says ICMR chief

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ICMR Director-General Dr Balram Bhargava on Tuesday spoke about the mutation triggers saying the non-judicious utilization of therapies which have not been curated for Covid-19 treatment trigger ‘immune pressure on virus; which causes mutation of the virus.

Dr Bharagava stated to ANI, “Those therapies which are being touted as ‘anti-viral’ or ‘anti-COVID therapies, and they have do not have any established benefits 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.”

Emphasizing on the recent virus strain mutation discovered in UK, Dr Bhargava said the genetic mutations happens particularly in the respiratory viruses but the worrisome point is the increased transmission possibility. He said, “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 mentioned that the immune pressure on the virus may be related to the external parameters of environment and majorly connected to the treatment. Reiterating on using only well-established therapies, Dr Bhargava said, “So it is important for our scientific community also that we don’t 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.”     

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