The Centre has given in-principle approval to set up a centre of the National Institute of Virology in Punjab to cater to the north zone, officials said on Monday.
At present, the National Institute of Virology in Pune in Maharashtra is the only institution capable of providing a well-coordinated medical and public health response to a public health emergency in India.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, who had made the proposal some weeks back amid the Covid-19 pandemic, welcomed the approval, saying the proposed centre would prove to be a milestone in boosting research in the field of virology.
He said it will make India future-ready to predict and detect viruses at the earliest so that necessary preventive steps can be taken.
He said the virology centre will also go a long way in addressing the requirements of other northern states of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, and Rajasthan, and UTs of Chandigarh and Jammu and Kashmir.