A consortium of doctors and researchers from India, Brazil, Russia, and South Africa have partnered to conduct a study on the epidemiological impact and intersection of the COVID-19 and Tuberculosis pandemics in these countries. Ministry of Science and Technology in a statement said that under this joint research, the teams from these countries will explore the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the epidemiological characteristics of TB infection and search for mechanisms responsible for the interaction of these two processes. They will also search for strategies to mitigate the negative consequences of the pandemic and develop individual recommendations for each participating country. The recommendations can help overcome the impact of epidemics of respiratory viral diseases on the epidemic of tuberculosis.
Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa currently rank 2nd to 5th in the number of cases of COVID-19 and belong to 24 countries recognized by World Health Organisation with the highest burden of tuberculosis in the world. Moreover, BRICS countries have the largest number of cases of drug-resistant tuberculosis. Hence the research will be conducted in these four BRICS countries where one of the highest-burden rates of both COVID-19 and tuberculosis has been recorded simultaneously.
The research supported by the Department of Science and Technology is being led by Prof. Urvashi B Singh from All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi from Indian side.