Scientists at the National Institute of Virology (NIV) of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in Pune are training medical workers from several countries, including Laos, to combat monkeypox amid rising concerns about the disease.
Representatives from Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Thailand will be receiving the training, according to Vietnam Express.
As part of India’s response to the emerging threat, NIV scientists are training their counterparts in these nations on testing, clinical symptoms, case definitions, sample collection, and testing equipment.
“Developing the ability to diagnose and detect monkeypox cases in these nations will improve the screening of suspected cases and minimize the spread of the disease through travel,” said Dr. Pragya Yadav, a senior scientist at NIV Pune.
The institute not only offers capacity-building programs but also provides testing kits, reagents and probes for other countries upon request.
Last week, the NIV lab isolated the monkeypox virus strain to help pharmaceutical companies to develop monkeypox vaccines and diagnostic kits. Besides this, the institute has been designated as a referral laboratory for testing suspected cases. In addition, 15 other ICMR-VRDL (Viral Research and Diagnostic Laboratory) network laboratories have been optimized to undertake diagnostic testing for monkeypox disease.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), as of 5 August, some 28,000 cases of the monkeypox virus have been recorded in 88 locations around the world.
India has reported nine monkeypox cases and at least one death.