Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Press Information Bureau and ICMR organize knowledge sharing press tour of National media Health Journalists to NIV Pune


New Delhi/ Pune/ Mumbai 2nd April, 2021


Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Press Information Bureau and ICMR-National Institute of Virology organized the knowledge sharing press tour for Health Journalists. The purpose of the press tour is to understand the achievements of our scientific communities, scientific process of developing a new vaccine especially our indigenous Covaxin, challenges and opportunities.

Professor Dr Priya Abraham, Director, ICMR-NIV addressed the health journalists and along with her team of eminent scientists expounded on how the institution had created so many COVID-19 testing labs from a single lab at the start of the pandemic and the efforts that went into developing the indigenous vaccine to the media persons.  She said, “During pandemic, when the top labs around the world had run short of the PCR reagents, ICMR-National Institute of Virology (NIV) had shipped more than 64 lakh RT-PCR reagents to different parts of the country. Not only this, the institution also made available kit evaluation platform and provided hand holding support to many new entrepreneurs and Made-In-India companies who came forward with kits for them to validate. this was a very important initiative towards AatmaNirbhar Bharat. The institution validated around 500 kits at that time. She added that National institute of virology, Pune has played an instrumental role in fighting Covid-19 Pandemic in the country; scientists made India AtmaNirbhar in Vaccine Research and developement, testing kits, genome sequencing  etc “

Some of ICMR-NIV’s multi-faceted contributions during the pandemic includes establishing testing and detecting the first SARS-CoV-2 case in the country, isolation of virus including the variants of concern, training of several lab personnel on RT-PCR testing, making indigenous screening assays used for national sero-surveys and convalescent plasma trials, providing live and inactivated virus for vaccine trials, studying immune response against different variants, pre-clinical trials for vaccines and support for clinical trials.

The health journalists visited some of the state-of-the-art laboratories spread over the institute’s two campuses – NIV main campus and NIV Pashan campus. This included National Influenza Centre, Bioinformatics Centre, Animal House, Virology Diagnostics, BSL-3 Laboratory, Microbial Containment Complex (MCC) (having P-3 biosafety levels for handling microorganisms of highly infectious nature), Medical Entomolgy and Zoology Wing among others. The scientists explained about the researches across various domains of virology and how this scientific organisation of national repute carries out research on viruses of public health importance.

The health journalists also participated in a very enriching and knowledge sharing workshop with National AIDS Research Institute (NARI) . It was noted that how engaging communities is pivotal to AIDS Research at ICMR-NARI. NARI had conducted India’s first HIV vaccine trial.




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    Source PIB