Gangajal for Covid-19? ICMR is polite
The Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) has decided not to go ahead with the proposals forwarded by the Union Jal Shakti ministry to undertake clinical studies for treatment of Covid-19 patients with Ganga water, saying it needs more scientific data.
Dr Y.K. Gupta, who chairs the committee for evaluation of research proposals at the ICMR, said the evidence and data available at the moment were not strong enough to start the clinical studies on the different routes/forms of Ganga water for treatment of the coronavirus.
The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), an arm of the Jal Shakti ministry that deals with the rejuvenation programme for the river, had received anumber of proposals, including from some NGOs working on the Ganga, to undertake clinical studies for treatment of coronavirus patients with the river water, officials said.
One of the proposals received by the NMCG claimed that the waters of the Ganga have “ninja virus” which scientists call bacteriophages.
The proposals were sent to the ICMR on April 28.
Gupta, who is also a former dean of the AIIMS, said: “At present, the proposals need much scientific data, proof of concept and a strong background hypothesis. This has been conveyed to them (the NMCG).”