As different countries across the world pull up their socks and dig their brains deeper into finding a vaccine for COVID-19, Ministry of Jal Shakti approached Indian Council of Medical Research to conduct research on the theory that Gangajal could possibly cure COVID-19. The move came after a proposal by an NGO, Atulya Ganga, that claimed last month about the presence of a ‘ninja virus’, called bacteriophage, in Ganga’s water that could cure COVID-19.Also Read - Uttar Pradesh Reports First Zika Virus Case in Kanpur, Team of Experts Sent From Delhi
It then sent a copy each to the ministry and the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), asking the government to conduct a study on the possibility of this virus acting as a cure. The department administering the Modi government’s ambitious Namami Gange programme, the ministry’s National Mission for Clean Ganga had then requested IMCR to do the same on April 30. Also Read - Bihar: Gaya Residents to Face Legal Action If Unvaccinated; Will not Be Entitled to Receive Food on Subsidised Rate
In an interview with ThePrint, an IMCR official shared, “We had indeed received a letter from the Ministry of Jal Shakti for such research. The experts at ICMR also held a meeting on this matter. Then we asked those proposing this research that you should tell us about hospitals and doctors that are ready and willing to conduct some research on it. We will certainly help them in this regard. As of now we are still treating plasma therapy as a trial for treatment for corona (COVID-19), then how can we so quickly accept a virus called bacteriophage, found in the water of Ganges, as a cure? Right now, there is no logic in the argument that the virus found in Ganga’s water can indeed fight the coronavirus disease.” Also Read - Over 17,000 Covid-19 Vaccine Doses Given to Inmates in Delhi Jails; Tihar Records the Highest
After the meeting, the ICMR refused to proceed with the suggestion and offered only its “help” to the NGO. It is interesting to note that while COVID-19 is a virus, Bacteriophage is a special type of virus that eats harmful bacteria. The source at the ICMR said that the agency has refused to get involved as it doesn’t want to waste time on other research amid the pandemic while it is focussing on the COVID-19 battle.