HC issues notice to Centre, DG-ICMR in PIL seeking lab test of bacteriophages found in Ganga

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Allahabad, Jul 1 (PTI) The Allahabad High Court issued notices to the Centre and the director general of the ICMR on Wednesday in a PIL seeking a laboratory test on the action of the 'bacteriophages' found in the water of the Ganga river which, as claimed in the PIL, can treat COVID-19.

Ernest Hackins, a British bacteriologist, found the presence of bacteriophages in the Ganga in 1896 and it was confirmed in studies that their presence does not putrefy or deteriorate the water of the river, rather they kill the pathogens and bacterial infections.

A bench comprising Acting Chief Justice M N Bhandari and Justice Rajendra Kumar passed the order in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Arun Kumar Gupta, a senior advocate of the high court.

According to the petitioner, he studied the curative properties of the Ganga and after the outbreak of COVID-19 last year, started searching on the internet for the effect of the water of the river on Covid patients.

After doing the research work, the petitioner prepared a scientific paper titled 'Treatment of COVID-19 by Ganga Jal' and e-mailed it to the president on April 26, 2020 and the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG).

The NMCG forwarded it to the Ayush ministry and the director general of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), but the paper was not considered due to a lack of scientific studies to validate the claim.

Since the petitioner was an advocate and a clinical study has to be carried out and the clinical data has to be collected by a recognised medical institute, he approached the doctors of the Institute of Medical Sciences (IMS), Banaras Hindu University (BHU) and Dr Vijay Nath Mishra, a professor in the university's Department of Neurology, agreed for further scientific research and clinical study on the subject and theory.

In the petition, it was stated that a nasal spray was also prepared for the treatment of the coronavirus, but the permission for its clinical trials is pending before the ethics committee, IMS, BHU for the last seven months.

The case will be listed for hearing on the expiry of six weeks. PTI CORR RAJ RC

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