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Fast-track genome sequencing of new Covid19 variants: Vice-President

Our Bureau Hyderabad | Updated on July 02, 2021

Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu (file photo)   -  PTI

The Vice-President of India, M Venkaiah Naidu, on Friday called for fast-tracking of genome sequencing of new Covid19 variants to speed up finding suitable vaccines and drugs.

The Vice-President visited CCMB’s LaCONES (Laboratory for the Conservation of Endangered Species) facility soon after his arrival in Hyderabad. He witnessed a presentation by Scientist-in-charge of LaCONES, Dr. Karthikeyan Vasudevan and visited National Wildlife Genetic Resource Bank, Assisted Reproduction Lab and animal cages at the facility.

Addressing scientists and research scholars at CCMB’s LaCONES (Laboratory for the Conservation of Endangered Species) here on Thursday, he observed that sequencing, as an adjunctive tool, plays a critical role in identifying the emergence of new viral mutations.

``Thus, it helps combat the spread of Covid-19. It would also help in timely interventions,’’ he added.

Genome sequencing of new variants becomes `crucial’ in the light of reports of big cats contracting Covid19 in a few zoos in the country, Naidu pointed out species jump of a virus—from humans to animals or vice versa—could lead to new variants and pose fresh challenges in the ongoing fight against the pandemic.

The Vice-President also stressed the need for strengthening international collaborations by research institutions to study the feasibility of developing a universal vaccine that could neutralize various SARS-CoV-2 variants.

Appealing to the people to shed vaccine hesitancy, the Vice President reiterated that vaccines made in India are ``safe and effective’’ and everyone should get vaccinated and encourage others to do so too.

He called for cultural and sporting icons to become active partners in the drive and motivate people to go for vaccination. “Vaccination drive should become a national movement”, he said, according to a release.

Published on July 02, 2021

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