Necessity brings in invention applies to COVID-19 pandemic too…

……………………………it is a historical fact that great inventions have been made during emergency situations.

While people in Sri Lanka are all locked down in their homes, many dedicated people are working to take the nation out of the COVID-19 pandemic. They include the health authorities, the tri-forces with the police and with many other sectors venturing out to join them; to provide essential services necessary to keep life ticking on, something not well acknowledged by those locked in their home.

With this novel corona-virus sweeping across continents and affecting many millions, health authorities, policy-makers and scientists, innovators around the world are racing to invent ways to contain the further spread of the virus. It is our unwavering belief that universities are – and should always be – contributing to this collective fight against this and future severe and potentially long-lasting public health crises.

Under this grave situation, due to necessity many have come up with new inventions to manage and overcome the crisis. From virus-slaying air purifiers to delivery robots, how university inventions are fighting COVID-19. Already there are reports of many inventions such as ventilators and other equipment for hospitals treating corona virus affected patients.

The highly infectious nature of COVID-19 means there is a pressing need to find corresponding solutions, from speeding up the detection of virus carriers and halting the spread of the virus to developing a vaccine. Like our dedicated fellows around the world, research teams at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) have been working tirelessly to contribute to the global task-force for corona-virus control. Further, it was reported that researchers attached to the Faculty of Medicine, University of Jaffna have pioneered rRT-PCR for COVID19 patients will be remembered in the history of Medicine in Jaffna.

More than a dozen research groups worldwide have started analysing wastewater for the new coronavirus as a way to estimate the total number of infections in a community, given that most people will not be tested. The method could also be used to detect the coronavirus if it returns to communities. To date these researchers have found traces of the virus in wastewater in the Netherlands, the United States and Sweden.

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Sri Lankan researchers should take this as a silver lining in the black cloud and follow the same to analyse wastewater as a preventive measure to control COVID-19 virus spread in the country. After the pandemic is brought under control, the same teams could extend their research work to identify source of water pollution, such work would prevent spread of many waterborne diseases. This would not only reduce the cost of healthcare, more than that improve the health of the population.