Scientists in India, for the first time, have managed to observe the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (Sars-CoV-2), popularly known as the novel coronavirus. Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) scientists, using a high-powered microscope, took an image from the throat swab sample of the very first laboratory-confirmed coronavirus patient in India, who had tested positive on January 30 in Kerala.
ICMR scientists have published findings from the microscopy analysis of the throat swab sample in the latest edition of the Indian Journal of Medical Research (IJMR).
In the publication, ICMR scientists shed light on their observation of the novel human coronavirus under a specialised microscope in a laboratory environment. To date, detailed morphology -- the study of the forms of things -- and the ultrastructure of this virus remain incompletely understood. The ultrastructure could only be observed with a high-magnification obtainable electron microscope.
The ICMR used Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) to image the Sars-CoV-2 from the throat swab sample. A total of seven negative-stained virus particles, having features of coronavirus-like particles, were imaged from the sample. The microscopy images taken by the ICMR scientists display round shape of the virus as well as projections jutting out from its surface.
As India enters Day 4 of the nationwide lockdown, the total number of active coronavirus in India has surged to 854, including 19 deaths says the Health and Family Affairs Ministry data. The number also includes 748 active cases and 66 patients who have recovered.