Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare today visited the headquarters of ICMR and unveiled a timeline depicting ICMR’s historical achievements and inaugurated ICMR’s mobile stroke unit and a COVID Vaccine and Clinical Registry portal to be hosted by ICMR. Dr. Balram Bhargava, Director General, ICMR, Dr. R. Hemalatha, Director, ICMR-NIN and other senior officials and scientists were also present.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan unveiled the history timeline of ICMR depicting 108 year journey of the India’s premier Research Council since the day of its inception in 1911 when it used to be known as Indian Research Fund Association (IRFA). The timeline captures policy and program interventions by ICMR and its institutes to control diseases and its pioneering work in the fields of maternal and child health, HIV, cancer and nutrition, among others.
Expressing his happiness at the release of ICMR History Timeline spanning 108 years since its inception Dr. Harsh Vardhan said, “ICMR has always attempted to address itself to the growing demands of scientific advances in biomedical research on the one hand, and to the need of finding practical solutions to the health problems of the country, on the other.” This moment will be remembered in the history where the glorious history of ICMR has been showcased in a sophisticated manner, he added.
Unveiling the new exhibits, Dr Harsh Vardhan said “ICMR has always been in the forefront of health research in the country and is now leading the country in tackling the unprecedented pandemic through scientific rigour and innovation. It has contributed immensely towards the nation’s welfare. Through these exhibits, people will take pride in knowing the contributions of ICMR and the country in the area of medical sciences.”
The Union Health Minister also launched the Mobile Stroke Unit. He said, “It is disheartening to see the susceptibility of people to heart disease and hypertension. Timely treatment can reduce fatality and prevent people from disability. In view of the large burden of stroke and absence of stroke care facilities in Assam, this initiative will go a long way in addressing the needs of the people in this area. The mobile unit, through tele-consultation ensures timely and appropriate treatment to people”. He also lauded the healthcare personnel who are working selflessly to serve the people even at a time when the resources are limited due to COVID.
He also launched the Vaccine Portal and portal on COVID Clinical Registry. While emphasizing on the importance of elaborate and transparent information on the status of vaccine development, he said, “The portal provides useful and important information related to vaccine development, ongoing clinical trials and progress made in this area locally and globally at regular intervals. Today, in the times of COVID, vaccine development is watched very closely. Thus, it becomes important to showcase the status of vaccine development in the country.”
On India’s fight against COVID-19, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said, “India’s continuously rising Recovery Rate and progressively falling Case Fatality Rate have proven the success of the COVID-19 containment strategy followed by all States and UTs. From having 1 lab to over 1800 labs today, we have come a long way in strengthening our capabilities. We have successfully ramped up our testing capacity which has touched 15 lakh daily tests.”
Dr Harsh Vardhan also urged people to follow COVID appropriate behaviour. He reminded people about the Social Vaccine of wearing masks/face covers while in public, following hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette, and maintaining physical distancing or Do Gaz ki Doori to curb spread of the infection.