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Biodiversity Research Cell, Department of Zoology, Carmel College organized an International Webinar on Bats and Zoonotic diseases with special reference to Covid – 19 in partnership with Goa State Biodiversity Board, on 18th November 2021.

We received a great response with 436 registrations from 27 states in India and 8 countries. The event began at 5 pm with the introduction to the webinar by Dr. Manoj Borkar, Convenor, Organising Secretary of the webinar and Head, Department of Zoology.

Dr. Sr. Maria Lizanne A. C., Principal of Carmel College of Arts, Science and Commerce welcomed the attendees with a heartwarming speech. Dr. Pradeep Sarmokadam, Member Secretary of Goa State Biodiversity Board highlighted on the need for bats studies and their continuous monitoring.

Dr. Nandakumar Kamat, Consultant, Microbial Diversity gave the opening remarks elaborating on Bats Status in Goa, their linkages with zoonoses and need for such studies. Our first speaker for the webinar was Dr. Chelmala Srinivasulu, Director, Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Studies, Associate Professor, Department of Zoology, Osmania University, India. Dr. Srinivasulu spoke on diversity of bats in India, South Asia and highlighted on the need for studies on data deficient species and viruses reported in different bats species.

Our 2nd speaker was Dr. Arinjay Banerjee, Research Scientist & Principal Investigator, Laboratory of Zoonotic Viruses and Comparative Immunology, Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO), University of Saskatchewan, Canada. Dr. Arinjay spoke on the isolation of Covid – 19 virus and complexity of zoonotic disease spillover. He highlighted on the need for ‘One Health’ approach to prevent and be ready for any such pandemics in future.

Question and Answer sessions were moderated by Ms. Karen Braganza, Assistant Professor, Department of Zoology. Dr. Suresh Kunkalikar gave the closing remarks expressing the need for such events.

After both sessions, Mrs. Vinita D’Sa proposed the vote of thanks, appreciating efforts of the institute, department, Goa state Biodiversity Board and the attendees, and the webinar ended at 7.30 pm.