CHANDIGARH: The Department of Medical Education and Research, Punjab today signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune here at Punjab Bhawan . The agreement was signed by the Director of Medical Education, Dr.Sujata Sharma and Director, NIV, Pune. Priya Abraham in the presence of Punjab Medical Education and Research Minister Om Prakash Soni and Principal Secretary Medical Education and Research Alok Shekhar.
Giving information Soni said that the laboratories of Government Medical Colleges at Amritsar, Patiala and Faridkot started daily 40 tests last year at the time of COVID-19 pandemic, which had now been ramped to 10000-15,000 daily in each lab. The Minister said that despite enhanced testing facilities still some tests were being sent to NIV Pune / central institutes for further testing/genome sequencing/ quality assurance.
Soni further said NIV Pune is a premium institute with BSL – IV facility providing testing, training, teaching, research facilities, regarding viral diseases. It is one of the major institutes of ICMR, GoI established in 1952. He said last year Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi for establishing NIV in Punjab. Now the GoI has approved the establishment of NIV at Mohali this year in the Union Budget. Recently teams of ICMR/ NIV finalized land at New Chandigarh and mutation of said land has been done in the name of NIV. Mr Soni further said that the Punjab Government under the leadership of Capt. Amarinder Singh was committed to provide world class healthcare facilities for to the people of the state and many initiatives were being taken by the Punjab government in this regard.
Soni said today is a historic day in Punjab history, when after about 70 years another NIV will be established in India at New Chandigarh, Mohali. Land is being provided free by Punjab Govt. Notably this institute will provide the best of teaching, esp. post-graduate courses/training, research esp. in diseases like influenza, encephalitis, dengue, chikungunya, Ebola, H1N1, COVID etc. This will be a Regional Center, from which Punjab and all the neighboring states will also be benefitted in medical services, education, opportunities, facilities for the best of medical care.