NEWS FROM ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

APRIL 2020

Activities at TISTR

TISTR reports having conducted testing services on Negative Pressure Rooms at Siriraj Hospital, Thailand in April 2020. The rooms are for Airborne Infection Isolation while treating COVID-19 patients, by helping to control transmission of the virus through the air. In this mission, TISTR combined its expertise in the following diverse tasks :

  • TISTR reports having conducted testing services on Negative
  • Microbial examination for air quality according to ISO 14698
  • Measurements of air flow rates through ventilator areas using an air velocity meter
  • Measurements of differential pressure, temperature, and relative humidity
  • Efficiency testing of HEPA filter system installed in negative pressure rooms.

In longer term research and development, TISTR is conducting research related to N95 masks, such as pilot scale production of filters, efficiency testing of masks according to Thai and international standards, and cleaning systems consisting of fumigation methods using hydrogen peroxide.

Moreover, TISTR has launched social projects for entrepreneurs and people who affected by COVID-19. Examples of these include:

  • Job opportunities at the Food Innovation Service Plant (FISP), the scale up plant on dehydrated food and juice beverage owned by TISTR. FISP is designed to help, guide, and advise entrepreneurs in areas ranging from product concept development and laboratory-based food production to commercial technology incubation, while creating new business opportunities in the rapidly growing market in Thailand. The new employees will responsible for production line and product quality control (photo 2),
  • Packaging developments to extend the shelf life of fruits due to export limitations and logistic controls (photo 3),
  • Online media concerning food preservation and the planting of in-house vegetables, with nutrition and health benefits during the lockdown period.

Activities at CSIRO (Australia)

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) is an Australian federal government agency responsible for scientific research. CSIRO has already commenced the first stage of testing potential vaccines for COVID-19. The testing is expected to take 3 months. It is underway at CSIRO’s high-containment biosecurity facility, the Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL) in Geelong.2 

Moreover, CSIRO is helping the response to COVID-19 by understanding the virus that causes it, analyzing the virus genome, manufacturing a vaccine for COVID-19, and manufacturing face masks. More information is available online at CSIRO’s website:

https://www.csiro.au/en/News/News-releases/2020/CSIRO-begins-testing-Covid-19-vaccines

Activities at CSIR (India)

The Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) has a presence across India, with a dynamic network of 38 national laboratories, 39 outreach centres, 3 Innovation Complexes and 5 units. CSIR’s R&D expertise and experience is embodied in about 4600 active scientists supported by about 8000 scientific and technical personnel. The team of CSIR is working on multiple aspects of the fight against the pandemic of COVID-19. They have partnered with a number of academic institutions, industrial partners, CSIR’s constituent laboratories, Ministries and Departments to create five verticals which are:

  • Surveillance, including digital methods, to understand the genetic basis and develop strategy to combat COVID-19,
  • Rapid and low cost diagnosis,using kits based on DNA and serological analysis to diagnose the virus at an early stage,
  • Development of new therapies, including the repurposing of drugs and development of new drugs,
  • Vaccine development,
  • Hospital Assistive Devices,
  • Supply Chain and Logistics.

More details are available online at CSIR’s website: https://urdip.res.in/covid19/