RMRC Bhubaneswar director Sanghamitra Pati said the department of health research (DHR) under the ministry of health and family welfare has sanctioned Rs 9.42 crore for the construction of the standalone BSL3 Virology facility. A three-storied building will be constructed over a designated area of 3500 square feet in the RMRC premises, she added.
Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya will lay the foundation stone of the laboratory building on Saturday in the presence of Union education minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Union minister of state for health Bharati Pravin Pawar.
Now the state is sending different samples for tests at national institutions like National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune, outside Odisha. After this facility comes up, RMRC can conduct the tests in Bhubaneswar. It can also provide capacity development training to other health professionals at this laboratory, said a scientist of the institute.
Pati said the BSL3 laboratory will be a major addition to capacity building in the state and the region for tackling novel and highly infectious pathogens. It will respond to health challenges posed by such pathogens, especially emerging and re-emerging viruses, she added.
A viral diagnostic laboratory (Grade I) of Biosafety Level-2 has been functioning in the institute since 2010 as a part of ICMR Virology network laboratories to create viral diagnostic capacity which was lacking in many parts of the country. It has helped the centre to enhance research activities on important viral diseases in this region.
The RMRC will also have a School of Public Health. It will be the second ICMR School of Public Health in the country. A five-storied building will be constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 19.83 crore to house the school. The Union health minister will lay the foundation stone of this project on Saturday.
“This school will provide participants with a professional, critical and interdisciplinary education, equipping them with the skills to explore and respond to current public health challenges,” said the official sources.
The RMRC is running a master’s degree course on public health and four PhD courses on public health, biotechnology, life sciences and microbiology.
Besides, the Union health minister will inaugurate an annex building near the main building on Saturday. It will house sophisticated laboratories like Next Generation Sequencing and Bioinformatics facility, Proteomics, Vaccine development, e-library and medical museum.
The next generation sequencing facility is currently contributing SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance data to the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG). The building was completed in June 2022 with a total expenditure of Rs 21.54 crore.
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