The Central Government said that there had been “concerning lapses” in the conduct and protocols followed for the filovirus study on bats in Nagaland even as an inter-department row continues over where the bat samples should be stored after a year-long probe.
As per reports, Bengaluru-based National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS) and the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) has undertaken a study on bats in Nagaland.
Lav Aggarwal, Joint Secretary, Health Ministry last week said, “All research work has to follow a process and action will be taken if protocols aren’t followed.”
According to a report from The Hindu, the study had listed two scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology as “co-authors” and was partially funded by the U.S. Department of Defence through its Defence Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA).
The Health Ministry also showed their concern over the storage of the Nagaland bat samples as they want it to be at the Biosafety Level-4 (BSL-4) standard facility at the National Institute of Virology laboratory in Pune rather than NCBS’s Bengaluru facilities that are rated BSL-3.
The bat study on filoviruses is in no way related to the coronavirus studies at Wuhan, clarified the Ministry.