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A parliamentary committee has recommended the central government appeal to the nations to conduct more studies to identify the origin of Covid-19 and penalize the culprits on an international platform, according to the news agency PTI.

"There is still a lack of evidence on whether coronavirus infection reached humans via a laboratory incident," said the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health in its report titled 'Vaccine Development, Distribution Management and Mitigation of Pandemic COVID-19'.

The report submitted by the panel to the Rajya Sabha yesterday said that if the origin of Covid-19 is allowed to remain a mystery, then it will have consequences on biosafety and biosecurity of the world.

"Hence, the committee strongly recommends the Centre to reckon its diplomacy to appeal to the comity of nations to conduct more studies on the subject," it added.

It also highlighted there is a need to establish a robust mechanism for systematic investigation of the Covid-19 infections and the route of transmission of pathogens, as per PTI reports. 

The panel recommended the ministry develop a healthcare framework in the country to investigate and manage the future outbreak of any disease more effectively. It also believes that the recently constituted task force team led by Niti Aayog member, Dr. VK Paul, will track the monkeypox situation in the country and combat the disease.

Further, the committee highlighted that the number of samples sequenced is very low as compared to the total number of Covid-19 cases in the country.

According to the panel, genome sequencing is part of an effective virus containment strategy that facilitates better surveillance, thereby, entailing the necessity for better policy formulation on Covid-19 management.

It took into consideration that India lags behind in genome sequencing and has very few samples as compared to other countries, the panel strongly believes that there is a need to augment such facilities in India.

In June this year, the World Health Organization (WHO) had again decided to investigate the origin of the deadly infection. 

The UN agency, which had sent its team to China to study coronavirus origin last year, received a barrage of criticism for being biased towards the country and ignoring the facts during its probe.

The SARS-CoV-2 virus, which was first reported in the Chinese city, of Wuhan in 2019, has killed at least 6.3 million worldwide. While a lot of western countries have claimed that China should be blamed behind the orgin of this deadly virus, the WHO's team underplayed a lab-leak theory that put Chinese officials on the defensive.

 

(With PTI inputs)

 

 

 

 

 

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