Other States

Centre’s nod for National Institute of Virology unit in Punjab

Director-General of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Balram Bhargava. File

Director-General of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Balram Bhargava. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

The central government has given in-principle approval for setting up a National Institute of Virology Centre for the north zone in Punjab, said an official statement on Monday.

The Centre’s letter of in-principle approval had been received by State chief secretary from secretary to Government of India, Department of Health Research of Ministry of India-cum-Director General, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Balram Bhargava, said the statement. Dr. Bhargava has requested the State government to identify about 25 acres of land on long lease to enable ICMR to set up the centre at the earliest, it added.

Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 10 requesting him to ask the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to set up the proposed centre, which would focus on addressing regional, national and global needs in virology, diagnostic, research and therapeutic evaluations to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Chief Minister had proposed a specialised Centre in Medicity, New Chandigarh, which would serve the interests of the north-western region given Chandigarh’s international air connectivity. He also pointed out that the centre could easily be incubated in the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), which is located only 7-8 kilometers from the proposed Medicity.

Pointing to the unprecedented crisis faced by the country amid Covid-19, Captain Amarinder hoped that this Centre would be instrumental in providing diagnostic support, undertake research in basic virology, build capacity in the field of virology to promote universal health coverage, develop rapid and affordable quality diagnostic assays for viral diseases, besides introduction of teaching courses for the M. Sc Medical Virology and DM, Virology.

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Printable version | Sep 21, 2020 7:32:29 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/centres-nod-for-national-institute-of-virology-unit-in-punjab/article32317366.ece

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