New Delhi, Feb. 27

The Inter-Ministerial task force set up to handle the outbreak of avian influenza has decided to set up three more Bio-safety Level 3 laboratories in Chennai, Kolkata and Delhi.

Along with this, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) will also beef up its influenza surveillance systems with an investment of Rs 6 crore. Besides these, of the five Regional Disease Diagnostics Labs, used for testing animals, three labs would be upgraded further. Speaking to newspersons, Mr Vineet Chawdhry, Joint Secretary, Health Ministry, three pharmaceutical companies - Roche, Hetero Drugs and Cipla - are expected to submit their tenders for supply of new stocks of Tamiflu, the drug used to treat bird flu. The Government on Monday reiterated that there has been no human infection of bird flu.

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(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated February 28, 2006)
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