UVAS scientists, Indonesian delegation discuss COVID-19 trajectory in Pakistan
LAHORE (13-08-20): The University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) Lahore has played a significant role in supporting the efforts of the Pakistani government in successfully handling the COVID-19 epidemic in Pakistan.
This was highlighted by Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Nasim Ahmad during the visit of a seven-member Indonesian delegation led by Defence Attaché of the Indonesian Embassy-Islamabad Kol. Dody Muhtar Taufik.
The Vice-Chancellor with his team comprising of UVAS epidemiologists, virologists, microbiologists and immunologists apprised the delegation of the proactive role of UVAS scientists in providing support to the government for outbreak handling.
Prof Nasim said that UVAS scientists created awareness among public, provided diagnostic facilities and technical assistance to the government for combating the virus. He affirmed that tackling such challenges requires a coordinated national response involving all functionaries, adding, “UVAS is fully capable of and committed to playing a proactive role in national challenges related to food security, food safety and public health”.
Dr Mamoona Chaudhry, an Associate Professor from Department of Epidemiology & Public Health, highlighted the strategies adapted to minimize the spread of COVID-19 in Pakistan. She also spoke about the current status and future predictions of the COVID-19 in the country.
Institute of Microbiology Director Prof Dr Tahir Yaqub said that UVAS has proactively provided technical as well as operational support to the Punjab government by providing testing facilities for COVID19 at the institute’s BSL-3 laboratory and by providing technical assistance in designing disease control program. He said that UVAS scientists worked day and night in standardizing the disease diagnosis protocols and helped train the staff of other laboratories to enhance testing capacity in the province. The UVAS scientists successfully isolated SARS-CoV-2 from sewerage water that may help in identifying hotspots for smart lockdown, he added.
Chairman Department of Epidemiology and Public Health Dr Muhammad Hassan Mushtaq said that UVAS has played a crucial role in creating public awareness through short videos, seminars, articles and blogs concerning COVID-19 spread, prevention and control strategies, the importance of healthy diet to boost the immunity, etc. This also helped in addressing common misconceptions and busting the myths. He mentioned electronic, print, social media and information technology play a vital role especially curb COVID-19 issue through creating awareness among a large number of public in the country.
The Indonesian Ambassador appreciated the efforts of UVAS and expressed his commitment to work on similar lines for the control of COVID-19 in Indonesia.
The delegation comprising of Kol Dody Muhtar Taufik (Deffence Attache of the Indonesian Embassy-Islamabad, Head of Delegate, Mr Ahmad Firman Sejati, Mr. Sulaiman, Mr. Major Jaka Putra, Mr Muladi Mughni, Mr Adhie Yusetiadi and Mr Nugroho While Prof Dr Amir Ghafoor Bajwa, Dr Zubair Shabbir and many experts from UVAS were present through online.
Earlier, Prof Nasim Ahmad briefed the Indonesian delegation on UVAS history, campuses, academic and research programme, national and international collaborations through a short documentary of UVAS.