While many researches go on to find a vaccine, as an ultimate solution to COVID-19, a treatment that strengthens our immunity and builds resilience to viruses like SARS-CoV-2 (novel coronavirus) is on in Bangalore, India. The idea that is similar to the one Cuba came up with, that is, using 'Interferon'.

Dr Vishal Rao, a Bangalore based Oncologist claimed that he has developed a treatment for the coronavirus, last Friday. He said that said that human cells release 'Interferons' to fight any infections, which is a part of our immune system. These chemicals stop the virus from multiplying.

Using Cytokines

Dr Vishal Rao
Dr Vishal Rao Youtube Screengrab

When coronavirus infects a person, it weakens the immune system which obstructs the release of Interferons. Dr Vishal Rao said that when a mixture of 'Cytokines' are given to the patient, it stimulates the generation of Interferons and would result in fighting COVID-19, reported ANI.

Cytokines are a large group of proteins and peptides that are secreted by cells of our immune system. These are molecules that signal, mediate and regulate our immunity. The chemical would even signal the release of Interferons. "We have produced cytokines that can be given to COVID-19 patients via injection to enhance the immune system," said Dr Rao.

The Bangalore-based oncologist claims that the treatment would be tested by a week's time. "We have given an application to the government for an early review of possible treatment," he added. Dr Rao had previously developed a voice prosthesis device that helps throat cancer patients to speak after surgery. The device costs less than a dollar, unlike the expensive ones in the market.

Cuban Interferon Drug

Meanwhile, Cuba had developed a drug containing 'recombinant human Interferon Alpha 2B' in 1986 which is marketed as 'Heberon® Alfa R'. The drug is being used for treating coronavirus patients. The same drug might arrive to Kerala, a state in India, if all talks with officials go well. Cuba has previously trained medical professionals in the state.

Cuba has a practice of sending its medical teams to various countries -as a part of its humanitarian medical mission formed 55 years ago, after the revolution led by Fidel Castro. The country has more than 29,000 medical professionals in 59 countries, and has also sent a team to Italy and other countries to fight COVID-19. These doctors serve free of cost.