Virus institute to get P283 million budget in 2021
Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon (The Freeman) - October 26, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  Cebu First District Representative Eduardo Gullas said yesterday that the Philippine government is devoting a whole new research center to the study of emerging viruses.

These include those found in wildlife animals that could possibly infect people and threaten public health in the future.

Gullas said that the new Virology Science and Technology Institute (VSTI) is getting an initial funding of P283 million in the 2021 national budget.

“Once fully operational, the VSTI will enable Filipino scientists to identify evolving viruses in different species of animals,” said Gullas, a member of the House appropriations committee.

Gullas, in a statement, said that the Filipino scientists will then be in a position to ascertain those viruses that could pose the greatest risk of infecting people and spreading between people.

The institute is expected to run a modern laboratory with high biosafety measures.

The VSTI will establish its facilities at the Clark Special Economic Zone in Tarlac.

Gullas said the VSTI will be operated and will be under the supervision of the Department of Science and Technology.

According to the World Health Organization, coronaviruses are a large family of viruses common in people and many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats.

A coronavirus not previously seen in humans called SARS-CoV-2 caused what is now the COVID-19 respiratory disease that has become a global pandemic. — GMR (FREEMAN)

VIRUS
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