Vice-President calls for global cooperation to battle new viruses

Our Bureau Hyderabad | Updated on January 27, 2020 Published on January 27, 2020

Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu on Monday underscored the need for global cooperation to contain any serious fallout from outbreak of epidemics.

Addressing scientists and researchers of CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in Hyderabad, the Vice-President, while referring to the raging coronavirus outbreak in China, said as it spreads across the globe, it is had become a cause of major concern to health authorities.

He pointed out that periodic outbreak of epidemics and new viruses highlighted “our vulnerability to diseases”.

Referring to the vital role of the Indian Science and Technology Innovation (STI) System in achieving national goals, he appealed to the private sector to create a fund for financing innovative scientific projects that will address societal concerns.

Observing that investment in STI plays a major role in promoting research and development of cutting-edge technologies, Naidu said the funding for basic research also has to be stepped up.

Stressing that the outcome of every scientific endeavour must improve the lives of people, he urged scientists of CCMB and other labs to find answers to the many challenges the world was facing such as poverty, climate change, pollution, lack of clean drinking water, sanitation, and growing drug resistance.

Lauding CCMB for developing bacterial blight-resistant Samba Masuri rice variety in collaboration with Indian Institute of Rice Research (IIRR), Naidu urged scientists to find ways to develop more disease- and pest-resistant crops and aid in increasing productivity to make agriculture viable and sustainable. He stressed the need to protect farmers from the vagaries of nature.

Touching upon the problem of growing anti-microbial resistance, he said that modern medicine was facing a serious threat on this front and feared that many antibiotics will eventually become ineffective if the trend continued .

The Vice-President urged CCMB to develop Rapid DNA Testing Kits for detection of some of the rare diseases and genetic disorders. “It is important to predict and prevent genetic diseases as more than 70 million Indians are estimated to be suffering from genetic disorders, according to the Organization for Rare Diseases India (ORDI)”, he added.

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Published on January 27, 2020
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