The AIIMS Resident Doctors Association on Sunday wrote to the Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan urging him to implement the gargle lavage method in the detection of coronavirus. They also urged them to give due credit to researchers of the hospital and THSTI for this diagnosis.
Earlier this week, development of an “Innovative patient-friendly saline gargle RT-PCR testing method” was announced by the Nagpur-based National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) under the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), “However, this is not the first time that someone has looked into this account.
A team of doctors at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AllMS), Delhi published a research paper last year and the research scientist scientists at Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI), Faridabad had already validated gargle lavage as a viable alternative to traditional swab testing,” AIIMS RDA President Amandeep Singh said in the letter. The THSTI is an institute under the Department of Biotechnology.
He said the first insights of the researchers of the AIIMS and the THSTI was to collect samples for COVID-19 diagnosis in the form of gargled-saline water.
“Even though CSIR-NEERI scientists’ effort is commendable as it makes testing more cost-effective their work is yet to be published. At the same time, it is pretty discouraging for young researchers and resident doctors of the AIIMS, New Delhi that their work went unnoticed,” Singh said.
However, he stressed that ICMR could have saved a lot of resources, money and workforce.
“We would request the implementation of the gargle-lavage method for COVID-19 diagnosis the earliest and due acknowledgment of the young researchers from the AIIMS and the THSTI. They already developed this technique a year ago,” he added.
Singh said, last year in June, the team presented the research to the top officials at the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) headquarter here. Grounded on the inputs, the same group of researchers got upon different study to estimate the stability of the viral genetic material in normal saline for extended time. However, a follow-up research paper in October 2020 was submitted by AIIMS. The paper has already accepted for publication in April, he added.