“Invisible threats are the strongest ties”. Accurately used quote in today's time, when each and every citizen is frightened due to the adverse effects of novel coronavirus and the whole world is fighting for their survival. The virus that has made us lockdown, has been named as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and the disease is now called COVID-19. It has been declared as pandemic by the World Health Organization. India being the country with the highest population has utmost probability of dissemination of this virus. The global pandemic of COVID-19 has compelled governments all over the world to shut down various educational institutions and government officials as well.
During this tough time, faculty members of Acropolis Group of institutions did not stop motivating us to be safe at home and at the same time utilize this lockdown period in gaining more knowledge as we did in previous years by doing certifications in bioinformatics, computational biology, pharmaco-vigilance and clinical research data management etc. other than a regular curriculum to keep us updated and skilled. From the date of Janta curfew till date, we, 80 students of dept. of Biosciences did certifications on topics like “Emerging respiratory viruses including COVID-19” and “SARI: facility design” by World Health Organization, “Coronavirus you need to know” by Alison labs, “COVID-19 pandemic” by AACC Learning labs etc. We solved a number of quizzes related to Respiratory infectious diseases, SARS-CoV-2, bioweapons and bioterrorism organized by renowned organizations across India in order to apply our knowledge gained by certifications and to understand our shortcomings. We, the students and faculty members of Dept. of Biosciences attended several webinars which helped us to gain authentic information and knowledge about this disease, its etiology, prophylaxis, preventive measures and possible treatment. From these online courses, we got to know the scenario of diagnostics and vaccine production in India and overseas.
Quizzing gives an opportunity to test knowledge. In view of this, Dept. of Biosciences is conducting "COVID-19 quiz- A multidisciplinary approach to combat novel coronavirus disease” in which questions related to morphology and physiology of novel coronavirus, its etiology, line of treatment, vaccine productions in India, etc. are there.
In the coming week, our dept. is organizing a national webinar on “SARS CoV-2: Invisible threat and scientific resilience” in which renowned speakers Dr. Ravi Tandon from Dept. of Biotechnology, JawaharLal Nehru University, New Delhi would deliver expert talk on COVID-19: Understanding the disease pathogenesis and potential remedies and Prof. Mohammad Zahid Ashraf, Dept. of Biotechnology, Jamia Millia Islamia Central University, New Delhi would address his research on COVID-19 and Clotting.
Above all, we have been given the opportunity to be a part of organizing committee as we did in our last two national seminars on “Science, innovation and society” and “IPR, Biosafety and bioethics”, due to which we have learnt team work, public relations, data handling, content writing, resource management, designing and news reporting. I show my sincere gratitude to our HOD Dr. Pranoti Belapurkar and faculty members of Biosciences for organizing such benevolent events and making us do things to sharpen our skills.
Lastly, my message to all, please educate people around you about this dreadful virus. We, the students of Acropolis group of institutions take the pledge to follow all the guidelines to prevent the spread of this disease. This hypercritical and unpredictable situation is having major impacts on our societies and will surely be going to affect our economy for many years to come. I request all of you to help the needy in terms of resources, food etc. like our management did by setting an example by distributing PPE kit to the police who are front line warriors in current situations. Our prayers are with the families currently dealing with the pandemic of COVID-19 particularly those who have lost a loved one during this dreadful situation. I believe, together we can and we will win our combat with Covid-19.
Article by Vaidehi Wable
B. Sc. I year Microbiology student