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HomeNewsScience 20: India pitches Covid-19 lessons, prevention of 'zoonotic spillovers'

Science 20: India pitches Covid-19 lessons, prevention of ‘zoonotic spillovers’

At the G20 Science 20 conference next week, India is expected to draw attention to the recent Covid-19 experience and the need to proactively prevent “zoonotic spill overs” because of the danger they pose towards advancing the infection from “local outbreaks to a global pandemic”.

The Wuhan outbreak in China is widely suspected to be a case of zoonotic spill-over that ended up wreaking havoc across the globe.

India is learnt to have shared notes with member nations on how “speedy knowledge sharing of emerging infections at global levels could go a long way in curbing such spills”.
Countries must strengthen “microbial surveillance systems monitoring wildlife” to enable early detection of potential pathogens with “pandemic potential” and prevent the “zoonotic spill-over”, India is learnt to be proposing to G20 member nations.

Backed with digital technologies, data on circulating microbes and emergent variants must cross national borders faster than the pathogens. For the same, capacity for microbial identification and genomic characterisation must be built across all regions and wherever possible in all countries, India is learnt to be suggesting.

The S20 Conference on ‘Universal Holistic Health’ will be held in Lakshadweep on May 1-2, 2023. This edition of S20 – the second such conference being hosted by India to finalise a G20 communique – will also delve into the issues of mental wellness and the role of traditional healing systems.

While the first S20 conference earlier this month focussed on ‘Clean Energy for a Sustainable and Just Future’, the third and final conference – to be held in Bhopal in August – will look at the role technology can play in preservation of tangible and intangible cultural heritage and social wealth.The Lakshadweep conference, however, will propose a “One Health” approach affirming commitment to ecological sustainability, linked microbial surveillance across wildlife, veterinary populations and human habitat.

It will also suggest a ‘holistic health’ paradigm including traditional health systems and diets to better understand variations in human health and bring about improved physical health outcomes as well as enhanced psychological wellbeing.

Pointing to the lack of universal acceptance/recognition to traditional healers due to training and licensing regulations, India is mooting that scientific research on the effects of traditional systems of medicine be strengthened through use of advanced scientific methods such as epigenomics, proteomics, metabolomics and transcriptomics.

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