ICAR-NRRI researchers emerged as “COVID-19 WARRIORS” besides rice research 

While engaged in rice research amidst the series of lock-down events in Odisha, researchers from ICAR-National Rice Research Institutes (NRRI), Cuttack have been working in the forefront to diagnose COVID-19 samples at ICAR-International Centre for Food and Mouth Disease (ICFMD), Bhubaneswar. Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) advised its institutes of Odisha and Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT) to assist the state government for COVID-19 testing. In this venture a collaborative team consisting of Scientists, Veterinary officials, technicians and research scholars from NRRI along with ICFMD, CIFA, ADRI and OUAT have taken up the responsibility for COVID-19 testing since 16th May 2020. Resources and manpower were pooled from all the partners to carry out the analysis at ICFMD-Biosafety Level-3+ facility after obtaining approval from ICMR. NRRI also spared two RT-PCR machines to ICFMD to accelerate the testing capacity. Collaboratively more than 18000 samples have been tested till date.