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Hyderabad-based CCMB starts growing coronavirus in labs to study genome structure

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Hyderabad, Apr 02: Centre of Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), as part of its research on Covid-19, has started growing large quantities of the killer virus to understand its genome structure useful for developing vaccines and drugs, its Director Rakesh K Mishra has said.

Anticipating a rise in the number of cases, Mishra also said it would be at least one year before any nation comes out with vaccine or drug for the killer virus. So as of now maintaining social distance and hygiene is the only way to keep it away.

Hyderabad-based CCMB starts growing coronavirus in labs to study genome structure

"We have started research activity on Covid-19. We started growing this virus in our labs in larger quantities so that we can use it for serological testing, to study its growth in the cells and for new interventions.

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"To make potential drugs, we are also carrying out the whole genome sequencing of the virus so that we will understand how virus is changing, what the link of the virus is and what route it is taking," Mishra told 'PTI'.

CCMB, the countrys premier research organisation in frontier areas of modern biology, began testing coronavirus samples from Tuesday. It has the capacity testing several hundred in day, the official said. Asserting that in the absence of clear-cut study on the impact of rising temperatures on the virus, he said maintaining social distance and sanitisation is the only way to escape from the clutches of Covid-19.

"There is no question of decrease in number of cases. All indicators are that cases are going to rise...There is certainly going to be a rise in the number of cases. How far it would go depends on how effective is our lockdown. This (rise in temperature may decrease number of cases) is more of a speculation. There is no big evidence for that," Mishra said.

He said the present coronavisrus spread needs to be treated largely with "crisis management" skills and some of the countries that are coming out of the upheaval are due to their management skills, not through medicines or vaccines.

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"China has come out because of controlling of movement of people. No country will have vaccine at least before one year," he added. The official opined that India needs to increase its testing capacities so the more number of samples can be analysed to get a clear picture of the endemic.

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