New Gen system to help faster sequencing of SARS-CoV-2: Harsh Vardhan

While inaugurating the Mycology Advanced Resource Centre (MARC) established in collaboration with the ICMR in Bhopal, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Saturday that the new generation sequencing facility at the institute will boost the pace of genome sequencing of viruses, including the SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes Covid-19.

“I am happy to know that the institute has got the new generation sequencing facility. This system will help faster sequencing of the pathogens, including the SARS-CoV-2, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and other viruses. I am also happy to know that scientists and faculty of this institute, in collaboration with AIIMS Delhi and other institutes, have developed several TB diagnostic tests, some of these are in an advanced technology transfer stage.

“Other facilities like animal imaging system, flow cytometer with sorting, LCMS, automated nucleic acid extraction system will pave the way for research of international standards, including in-vivo drug targeting, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning.”

The minister also laid the foundation stone for the administrative block of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Bhopal.

Addressing the foundation ceremony of AIIMS, Vardhan stated that the Union government is committed to expand the institutes of medical excellence for high quality medical care across regions, which was the dream of former Prime Minister late Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

“The dream of Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji is being fulfilled with a network of AIIMS across the country for superior healthcare for all citizens. He envisioned to mitigate the regional imbalance in the healthcare management and teaching standards, after long realisation that AIIMS Delhi was overburdened to cater to the entire nation. Therefore, in 2003, he announced the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY) under which six regional AIIMS have been set up in various parts of the country,” he said.

Harsh Vardhan also appreciated the institute for establishing the Centre for Translational Medicine, a one of its kind facility present in the country.

“I am pleased to know that out of the box thinking of the director of AIIMS Bhopal HAS led to the establishment of the Centre for Translational Medicine, a unique facility in any medical institute of the country. This centre with all this state-of-the-art equipment can become a milestone in the integration of clinical and basic science. Translational medicine has great future,” he said.