March 2020 \ Diaspora News \ DIASPORA NEWS
Indian in Key Corona Cure Role

Even as Canadian Prime Minister Justin ...

  • Mr Arinjay Banerjee (right)

Even as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s wife tested positive for COVID-19 and the country’s markets posted their biggest one-day loss in history in March, a team of Canadian researchers, including an Indian, said they have isolated the virus behind the global pandemic.

The isolation of the virus by researchers from Toronto’s Sunnybrook Hospital, the University of Toronto and McMaster University in Waterloo raised hopes for a cure for COVID-19. The researchers, including Indian-origin postdoctoral student Arinjay Banerjee, worked on samples taken from two patients. In a secure facility, they managed to isolate and propagate the virus, creating a source of COVID-19 for study as to how the virus behaves. The isolation of the virus will help them to work on solutions to the pandemic, the researchers said.

Arinjay Banerjee, who is a postdoctoral researcher at McMaster University’s Institute for Infectious Disease Research and specializes in corona viruses and in bats, said: “Now that we have isolated the SARS-CoV-2 virus, we can share this with other researchers and continue this teamwork. The more viruses that are made available in this way, the more we can learn, collaborate and share.”

Highlighting the significance of their work, Banerjee said: “You can’t validate anything without a virus.” Ecstatic about his contribution to the path-breaking research, Banerjee said he always toldhis friends,“When I grow up, I want to be a guy who gets called in if there’s an outbreak.”