President Droupadi Murmu will lay the foundation stone of the Zonal Institute of the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Assam's Dibrugarh during an event in IIT Guwahati on October 13.
As part of this massive initiative, four Zonal NIVs will be created to cater to four major geographical regions of the country along with the existing NIV, Pune.
The ICMR-NIV South zone unit in Bengaluru was recently inaugurated by the President of India on September 27th, 2022.
As per an official statement, the new NIV laboratories to be established at East Zone, Dibrugarh Assam, and Central Zone, Jabalpur Madhya Pradesh will help in increasing the laboratory capacities of the viral research diagnostic laboratories (VRDLs) in respective zonal regions as well as collaborate with other premier academic and research institutions, as well as major medical Colleges.
''These institutes will be able to provide training in cutting-edge technologies including whole genome sequencing. The emphasis is also on performing surveillance for vaccine-preventable diseases such as poliomyelitis, mumps, and rubella which are planned for elimination,'' the statement added.
These NIV units are uniquely positioned across the geography of the country, to undertake diagnostic and research efforts. These units will have state-of-the-art biosafety level laboratories and training facilities to handle viral diseases of higher bio-risk and arthropod-borne diseases that continue to be a burden for our country.
These NIVs will also provide prompt diagnosis and investigation of any potential novel pathogens that could emerge in respective zones and will jointly contribute towards further improving the diagnostic capabilities and biosurveillance mechanisms in the country.
The statement further said that the ICMR-NIV has contributed to further diagnostic innovations, validating many “Made-in-India” technologies and further
contributed very significantly to the development of India’s indigenous efficacious vaccine, COVAXIN.
''As a part of COVID-19 challenges, ICMR-NIV undertook the humongous task of the training of the nationwide network of VRDL network of diagnostic laboratories (VRDLs) across the country for SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis,'' it added.
With an outlay of Rs 64,180 crores, the PM Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission (PM-ABHIM), announced in the Budget 2021-22, is the largest pan-India Health Infrastructure Scheme that aims to address India's emergent Public Health issues.
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