Chandigarh July 21, 2021
The Department of Biophysics, Panjab University hosted a distinguished lecture by Prof. Sunil K. Lal from the School of Science, Monash University, Australia (Sunway Campus, Malaysia) , today under the aegis of Indian Science Congress Association (Chandigarh Chapter) and Chandigarh Forum for Sciences and Technology Communication.
Prof. Lal’s talked on “Environmental Changes and Emerging Zoonotic Diseases”.
The webinar enlightened the attendees about various viral diseases, their occurrence, emergence and re-emergence. It also highlighted the various environmental factors as well as human habits that have led to the spread of such zoonotic diseases across species.
As defined by World Health Organization (WHO), Zoonotic diseases are the diseases and infections which are naturally transmitted between vertebrate animals and humans. This lecture highlighted animal reservoirs (bats, birds, pigs. etc.) of zoonotic diseases and their transmission routes to humans such as directly from animals, environmental sources, vector-borne etc. Various diseases such as Avian Influenza, Nipah, SARS-1, Zika, Ebola, SARS-2 etc. and their reservoirs and intermediate hosts were discussed. It has also enlightened that Asian countries are the epicentre of these emerging diseases due to certain reasons like poor economy, lack of health amenities, inadequate sanitation infrastructure, changes in ecosystems which leads to increased contact with the primary reservoirs and intermediate hosts of such viruses.
The lecture was concluded with possible remedies, measures and research efforts that are required to circumvent the spread of such pandemics.
Dr A.K. Singh, CEO Biotech Park, Lucknow and Ex-Director General, LSRB, DRDO in his presidential remarks rightly added that we need to refocus our efforts on where we are lacking especially in terms of research coordination across disciplines and data sharing across nations.
Prof. Vipin Sobti, the Convenor, of the Indian Science Congress Association thanked all the dignitaries and patrons; Prof. Raj Kumar, Honourable Vice-Chancellor, Panjab University, Prof. Vijay Laxmi Saxena, General President, Indian Science Congress Association and Prof. R.C. Sobti, former Vice Chancellor, Panjab University, and Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University for their support.
Finally, Dr. Avneet Saini, Chairperson, Department of Biophysics presented vote of thanks.