Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday proposed a Rs 550 crore project to the central government for setting up an ‘Advanced Centre for Virology’ in the state, with land to be offered by his government free of cost.
Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting him to direct the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to set up the proposed centre, which would focus on addressing regional, national and global needs in virology, diagnostic, research and therapeutic evaluations to cope with the coronavirus pandemic.
The Chief Minister noted that the sudden onset of this virus illness and its acquiring pandemic proportions in a matter of only two months have drawn attention towards the need to devote greater resources of the Government on cutting-edge research in the field of virology.
At present, the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune is the only institution in the country capable of providing a well-coordinated medical and public health response to such an emergency, he added.
In the present scenario wherein the world is in the grip of the pandemic, an Advanced Centre for Diagnostic Virology and Research as a regional reference laboratory for virus diagnosis and research is much required, the Chief Minister pointed. The frequent epidemics caused by viruses pose a constant threat and it is imperative for us to be future-ready to predict and detect these at the earliest so that necessary preventive steps could be taken, he said, adding that the proposal to establish the centre in Punjab will be a step in this direction.