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Uttarakhand to host Centre's pilot project on animal-origin viruses

Dehradun: A pilot project to study the transmission of viruses from animals to humans and vice versa, an initiative of the union ministry of animal husbandry and dairying (MAHD) and the ministry of fisheries, called "One Health", has been launched in Uttarakhand. Based on the findings of the project, the Centre will constitute state and district-level "One Health" committees across the country.
R Meenakshi Sundaram, currently secretary to Uttarakhand chief minister, who held charge of the state department of animal husbandry and dairying during the launch of the pilot project earlier this month, said that the "project was conceived in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, which was caused by a virus purportedly transmitted from bats to humans."
Sundaram said that based on findings of the pilot project in Uttarakhand, the project steering committee led by the secretary, MAHD, will create a "One Health framework" for the country.
"The data collated will be integrated into the digital architecture of the National Digital Livestock Mission, which is a government-backed information network for farmers. The project also aims to integrate a network of labs as well as develop and implement communication strategies across sectors," he added.
Meanwhile, experts have welcomed the move. State-based senior doctor and member of the Indian Medical Association (IMA)'s central working committee, Dr. DD Chowdhury said, "The move is commendable, as it will help in pursuing research on the viruses being transmitted from animals."

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