NEW DELHI: Over 100 institutes of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) across the country will be used as possible quarantine centres for isolating people infected with coronavirus. If needed, these institutes together can accommodate nearly 10,000 people in their hostels and guest houses.
The ICAR, research and development. (R&D) body under Union agriculture ministry, has offered its facilities at these institutes for establishing quarantine centres in response to the health ministry’s letter to all central government institutions. The health ministry has asked these institutions for identifying facilities which can be used as quarantine centre in emergency situation without losing time.
“The ICAR has hostels and well furnished guest houses in secluded campuses across India including at national Capital. These can be quickly converted into temporary quarantine centres,” said an official.
He said the ICAR has already authorised the Telangana government to take over two of its institutes in Hyderabad for this purpose. The state government can accommodate 260 patients there, if needed, he added.
Besides in Delhi and Hyderbad, the ICAR has institutes, having huge campuses, in Port Blair, Bhubaneswar, Jodhpur, Chennai, Hissar, Bhopal, Bikaner, Nagpur, Mumbai, Lucknow, Kochi, Cuttack, Ranchi, Patna, Bengaluru, Kanpur, Varanasi, Meerut, Almora, Jhansi and in several other cities/towns. It has total 103 institutes across the country.
In addition to offering its institutes to be used as quarantine centres, the ICAR has offered its laboratories at Bengaluru, Bhopal, Bareilly and Hissar for conducting tests for coronavirus. Its Bhopal-based National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases has even developed a Covid-19 test kit.
The department of science and technology (DST) has, meanwhile, launched a nationwide exercise to map and boost Covid-19 solutions with R&D and scale up support.
“Nearly 190 companies have already registered with the Technology Development Board (TDB) offering solutions including Covid-19 diagnostic kits, thermal scanners, AI & IOT based decision making support, spares/manufacturing of ventilators, manufacturing of mask and so on,” said the DST on Friday.