The Karnataka government is struggling to control the rising number of Covid-19 positive cases across the state, especially in capital Bengaluru, and it has no comprehensive strategy to tackle the spread, Biocon Chairperson Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw told ET’s Ayan Pramanik and Raghu Krishnan in an interview. Edited Excerpts:As India is scaling up testing, it is seeing tens of thousands of new cases each day. Have the Centre and State governments delayed measures to contain the spread of the outbreak?The state (Karnataka) is in a state of chaos because… you need to have a very strong well-worked strategy for testing, triaging and treatment. Unfortunately, because it has hit us in an unexpected way, we are not prepared. Everything was very good till the end of May. In the last two months, it has jumped out of control. These people were not prepared ... I have told them (the state government) -- when you lift the lockdown, increase your testing. They never listened. Secondly, how do you expand testing? You have to have antigen testing, antibody testing and RT-PCR testing. You have good people who can actually do all that, but they are not executing on that. Dr V Ravi from Nimhans and Dr C N Manjunath are very good at working on these testing strategies. They are being consulted in a certain way, but not being allowed to come up with comprehensive strategies. You need to come up with a strategy for testing, triaging and treating.Do you see the situation peaking?The good news is, I think we are at the peak now (in Karnataka) because the numbers started coming down. States such as Tamil Nadu, Telangana will start seeing their peaks. The country is going to finally flatten around the end of November, that is what people are projecting, because each part of the country will go through a different time period.Efforts are being put into vaccine development. When do you think it will hit the market?Everybody is waiting for a Covid-19 vaccine to come out as soon as possible. However, before such a vaccine can go from 'lab to market', its safety and efficacy in actually immunising large populations need to be established through good science. Today, we are seeing some very encouraging safety and efficacy data, be it the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, the Moderna vaccine or the Novavax vaccine. Thankfully for India, Serum Institute has partnered with AstraZeneca and Oxford University to manufacture their potential Covid-19 vaccine and is ready to start a clinical trial in India for the vaccine. Also, Bharat Biotech and Zydus Cadila have initiated clinical trials for their vaccine candidates. Some other Indian vaccine manufacturers are participating in large, global Covid-19 vaccine programs. Given that we are the largest vaccine producing country in the world, we are in good shape from a strategic point of view. This an opportunity for India to start innovating and creating its own IP in vaccines.How long will the Phase IV trial go for your Covid-19 drug Itloizumab?The Phase IV trial in India can happen very fast because of the number of patients the country has. As we speak, over 800 patients have received the drug. We are setting up a 200-patient registry that is going to be robustly done because this is an opportunity for us to add to that small proof of concept, pivotal trial. We want to do that in a very structured way, and we are going to hire an international CRO (Clinical Research Organisation) to manage the Phase IV trial. We also are going to create a registry with real world evidence of all these other people who have received the drug in the last 10 days. Now I have a different challenge; I have to ramp up my capacity because demand is outstripping supply. It will take me at least two months to ramp up. Were you surprised by the response when you announced the drug?Tocilizumab was being used in the treatment of cytokine release storm and I realised that Tocilizumab is only blocking IL-6 and Itolizumab drug would be much more efficacious in Covid-19. Then we did a pivotal study. If we can down-regulate the cytokine storm, it will be much more efficacious. We knew the science very well. In fact, my researchers were saying, do you remember the Cubans gave us a research prize for all the research we did. India did not even recognise us.