News Cubic Studio

Truth and Reality

Vaccination campaign should become a national movement: Naidu

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu has called for expediting genome sequencing of new COVID-19 variants to speed up the discovery of vaccines and drugs.

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

Addressing the scientists and research scholars, Naidu said that sequencing as a supporting linkage plays an important role in identifying the emergence of new viral mutations and thus helps in combating the spread of COVID-19. This will also help in timely intervention, he added.

Stating that the need for genome sequencing of the new variant is important in the light of reports of tomcats being vulnerable to COVID-19 in some zoos in the country, Naidu said the species boom of a virus i.e. from humans to animals or from animals to humans. New variants may arise from this and new challenges may arise in the ongoing fight against the pandemic.

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

Urging people to do away with their hesitation in getting vaccinated, Naidu reiterated that vaccines made in India are safe and effective and everyone should get vaccinated and others should be encouraged to do the same. He called upon eminent personalities from the cultural and sports fields to become active participants in the vaccination campaign and motivate people to get vaccinated. He said that the vaccination campaign should become a national movement.

Appreciating the contribution of CCMB in mitigating COVID-19, Naidu said that there should be a strong mechanism of cooperation between the institutions. He said that the Lacones-CCMB was in the right position to establish contacts both at the national and international level, to understand the emergence of infectious diseases and to prevent such epidemics in future.

He also said that Laacones has recently issued guidelines for zoo frontline workers for testing COVID-19 in caged animals in collaboration with the Central Zoo Authority and the Ministry of Forest, Environment and Climate Change.

The Vice President said that the innate contagiousness of coronavirus is posing many challenges. The way in which this virus can infect new hosts or other species could be an important area of ​​research, he said. He said that CCMB can take the lead in this and shed some valuable light.

Appreciating the Laacons for developing several biotechnological measures including assisted breeding and forensics for wildlife conservation, the Vice President noted the successful breeding of blackbuck, chital, rock pigeon and the endangered mouse deer (Pisuri) and suggested that Similar efforts should be extended for Hangul deer in Kashmir, wild buffalo in Chhattisgarh and Red panda in Darjeeling.

He expressed happiness that the National Wildlife Genetic Resource Bank in Laçons is one of a special league of 23 such laboratories in the world.

This is a timely initiative, he said, referring to the formation of a consortium comprising five zoos to promote the activities of Laacons and biobanking of endangered species. Referring to the impact of climate change on all life forms, Naidu pointed out that India has some of the most biodiverse regions and is home to diverse ecosystems.

To mitigate climate change, the Vice President said that a comprehensive afforestation program is the need of the hour and everyone should actively participate in planting trees in their communities and localities.

He said that we not only need to protect and conserve our ecosystems but also make every effort to conserve endangered species for the betterment of animals, plants and humans.

The Vice President released the book An Introduction to Genetic Resource Bank for Wildlife Conservation during the visit. He also interacted with research scholars and inquired about their work.

Telangana Home Minister Dr. Mahmood Ali, Director CCMB Dr. Vinay Nandikuri, Scientist in-charge of CCMB-Lacones Dr. Karthikeyan Vasudevan, Telangana Chief Wildlife Warden R. Shobha, Scientist and Research Scholar were present during the programme.