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Patil warns about threat of bio-terrorism

Shivraj Patil said there was a need for better coordination between the Centre and states to meet such a challenge as he unveiled guidelines for biological disaster management.

india Updated: Aug 22, 2008 18:08 IST

Warning about the threat of bio- terrorism, Home Minister Shivraj Patil on Friday said there was a need for better coordination between the Centre and states to meet such a challenge as he unveiled guidelines for biological disaster management.

The guidelines prepared by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) focus on issues related to health, immediate trauma and suffering, mental health and psychological support, identification of vulnerable groups and creation of community awareness to meet the challenges.

After releasing the National Guidelines on Biological Disaster Management here, the Home Minister cautioned that biological disasters could spread like wild fire and said biotechnology can be used for causing harm to human beings and genetics can be used as a weapon.

"It is very difficult to predict natural as well as manmade disasters. Therefore, constant vigilance is necessary. And, preparedness is all the more necessary," he said.

Patil favoured proper cooperation between the Centre and the states, and said coordination between the district and local bodies was all the more necessary to handle biological disasters.

Describing the task of managing such disasters as very difficult, he said a lot of money and vision would be needed. "While there will be no shortage of funds, the cooperation and coordination (at various levels) should be better than what we are doing now," he said.

Patil also sought cooperation from non-government organisations for better results.