Chinese scientists give microscopy meet a miss

M Somasekhar Hyderabad | Updated on February 04, 2020

A large delegation of 40 Chinese scientists could not attend the four-day, 12th Asia Pacific Microscopy Conference (APMC-12) that began in Hyderabad on Monday due to the outbreak of coronavirus in China.

These scientists, some of whom are top experts in microscopy studies, which give insights into viruses and bacteria, had to withdraw at the last minute. Nearly 1,000 professionals from 18 countries are taking part in the conference, said Partha Ghosal, Chairman of APMC-12.

The conference is discussing the implications, causes and control mechanisms needed to halt the progress of the coronavirus, which is threatening to fast turn into a global epidemic. However, the focus of the event held once every four years is on the advances made in the field of microscopic studies, he told BusinessLine.

India has specialised laboratories like the National Institute of Virology (NIV) and experts across different institutes and hospitals to handle the situation.. In the case of coronavirus, the best option now is to quarantine the suspects and ensure that no ‘human to human’ transmission occurs, he said.

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Earlier, Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundarajan, a medical doctor herself, said that advances in microscopes can help deal with various deadly viruses. Inaugurating the conference, she said most of the microscopes we are using in India are imported. “We must start manufacturing Indian microscopes as there is lot of expertise available.”

“Being a medical student myself, microscope was the first advanced gadget I happened to see in my first year as a medical student. I was in awe of the microscope and always admired it all through my medical practice. A simple instrument like microscope plays a very important role in detecting and proving even advanced diseases and helps medical professionals in a great way. Even other advanced micro procedures like laparoscopy and laser surgeries were invented from microscopes,” she added.

“We should appreciate the advancements in the microscope. Our Microbiology teacher used to say there will be an era when we will be threatened by viruses. The words which we heard as medical students decades ago are coming true now...even eminent scientists from China are unable to attend a very good conference like this due to the threat of virus,” the Governor pointed out.

APMC-12 also features a large-scale industrial exhibition in which suppliers of microscopes and allied techniques will demonstrate the state-of-the-art technologies.

Published on February 04, 2020

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