Leading Indian microbiologist Dr Rajesh N Sharan
Leading Indian microbiologist Dr Rajesh N Sharan

Leading microbiologist Dr Rajesh N Sharan has warned the Meghalaya government to not become complacent even though it has tackled the COVID-19 crisis well so far.

Speaking about the seriousness of the virus, he said, “This is a new virus and it may remain asymptomatic in a person beyond two weeks.”

“Within this two weeks the virus is expected to manifest. It must be understood that an asymptomatic patient is as dangerous as the symptomatic patient,” he added.

“One needs to strictly adhere to the global health guidelines to control and break the spread of the virus,” further added Dr Sharan, who works at the Molecular Biology at Department of Biochemistry of North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU).

He further said that as the virus threatens the well-being of the weaker sections of the society more, hence one needs to care for this section more.

Dr Sharan, while speaking on Meghalaya government’s inability to trace the COVID-19 source that has killed one person so far, said, “The source is something else and is the most likely somewhere else.”

“We need to have solid scientific evidence for it,” he added.

Advocating further for antibody screening for COVID-19, Dr Sharan said that compared to Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), antibody screening is very quick and much less technical.

On plasma therapy for treating COVID-19, Dr Sharan said, “The blood plasma of COVID-19 recovered person is likely to be rich in the antibody against the virus.”

“And if this enriched plasma can be transfused to a COVID-19 infected person, the latter person will get a booster of antibody that is present in plasma,” he added.

Raymond Kharmujai

Raymond Kharmujai is a Shillong based journalist. He can be reached at rrkharmujai@gmail.com