Chaos, Curiosity and COVID-19: A  Biotechnologist’s Perspective

Chaos, Curiosity and COVID-19: A Biotechnologist’s Perspective

The Biotechnology and Biomedical department of NIT Rourkela had organized a webinar on "Chaos, Curiosity, and COVID-19: A Biotechnologist’s Perspective", in association with the Unnat Bharat Abhiyan team of NIT Rourkela and Genesys, the Bioengineering club of Biomedical Department, registered under Technical Society of SAC, NIT Rourkela on the 25th of July 2020, with an aim of dispelling the misconception revolving amid the COVID-19 pandemic, discuss the transmission and diagnosis of COVID-19 and to analyze the socio-economic impact that the pandemic is causing in our society.

The one day webinar witnessed the presence of Prof Mahabir Panda (Chairman, UBA-RCI of Odisha), Prof Animesh Biswas (Director, NIT Rourkela), Prof. Rajkishore Patel (Nodal coordinator of UBA-RCI), Prof P. Balasubramanian (Convener, UBA-RCI Odisha), Prof.A Thirugnanam (HOD, BM Dept, NIT Rourkela). The discussion panel also witnessed the presence of Dr B.P Nayak (Assistant Prof, NIT Rourkela) and Dr S.S Ray (Assistant Prof, NIT Rourkela).

Speaking on the overall organisation of the event, Riya Titus, the President of Genesys club and the student convener of the webinar said,

It is one of the most successful events that has been conducted online by the Biotechnology and Medical Engineering department of NIT Rourkela. The session was very interactive with the live chat session Q&A to clear any doubts. I can confidently vouch that this webinar session was worth every second spend on it.

The webinar proceeded with the participants providing their perspective about the ongoing pandemic, the fate of the Corona Virus, and the different socio-economic impact the virus is going to cause.

The first presenter of the webinar, Rahul Raj spoke in detail about the stability, fate, and the mutation of the SARS-COV-2 Virus. Through his presentation, he showed the mechanism with which coronavirus attaches with the host body. 

For a side by side, comparison look at the following snippet from the speaker’s presentation.

 

The second presenter of the webinar Lopamudra Chandra gave her views on the transmissibility, mode of transmission, origin, mutation, and the climatic effect on the Corona Virus.

For a side by side, comparison look at the following snippets from the speaker’s presentation.

The next speaker of the webinar Anushri U spoke in great detail about the various testing methods (with varying accuracies and varying cost of implementation) that could be employed to detect the presence of the virus in a human body. These methods are-

  1. RT-PCR testing
  2. RT-LAMP testing
  3. MICROARRAY testing
  4. CRISPR ASSAY testing
  5. RAPID ANTIGEN testing

For a side by side comparison look at the following snippet from the speaker’s presentation.

The next speaker, Shristhi Chakraborty analyzed the outbreak and spoke about the possible modes of transmission, the epidemic curve, and its significance, control measures, etc. Here's her presentation in a gist-

Following are the three likeliest ways of transmission-

  1. Direct contact with infected Person
  2. Airborne via droplet nuclei
  3. Respiratory droplets
  4. Epidemic curve- 1) Shows the number of cases by the date of illness onset or some other metric if time. 2) Provides information about the incubation period of the disease.

Control Measures-

  1.  Quarantine
  2. Lockdown
  3. Herd immunity (Through vaccination or through mass exposure)

The next speaker, Nishant Kumar spoke on how Air pollution was the biggest culprit in the rapid spread of the virus. He spoke about how Air pollution had a drastically bad effect on our immunity and how it acted as a carrier for the virus.

Have a look at these snaps for a reference-

He concluded his presentation with an excellent case study in which he demonstrated that the cities in India with the worst Air Quality index were hit much worse than the states with better Air Quality Index. The data in the snaps attached below are from July 24th.

The next speaker, Kavita Kundal spoke about some of the antiviral drugs that have proven to be effective in saving people in critical condition and hence bringing the mortality rate down.

She also included a few drugs that are being used in the hospital along with their efficiencies and some of the side effects they could possibly have.

A few snaps for reference-

The next speaker, Laavanya D spoke about the vaccine scenario in great detail. The key areas she covered in her presentation are-

  1. Crucial stages in the development of a vaccine
  2. Limitations for COVID vaccine development
  3. Major vaccines being developed around the world

The next and the final speaker of the webinar Pradip Sarkar spoke about the tragic impact that the pandemic has had and is going to have on the socio-economic aspect of India.

He spoke about the positive and negative impacts that the lockdown has had on the socio-economic state of India and also the measures that the government has undertaken in order to keep the impact to a minimum and restore normalcy.

The online webinar was a huge success with over 1600+ registrations and over 3000+ views on Youtube. The interactive session conducted at the end helped in dispelling all the misconceptions associated with the COVID-19. Following the certificate distribution, the participants participated in a quiz that helped everybody reaffirm their knowledge they received through this session.

 

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