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Priya Abraham: Covid Warrior

Dr. Priya Abraham led the teams that expertly managed India's handling of the Covid-19 virus

Priya Abraham, 58, Director, ICMR-National Institute of Virology -- Photograph by Gaurav Kadam Priya Abraham, 58, Director, ICMR-National Institute of Virology -- Photograph by Gaurav Kadam

When the entire world was battling Covid-19 with full force, one institution under the leadership of Dr. Priya Abraham was at the forefront of the country's battle with the virus. Abraham took over the reins of ICMR-National Institute of Virology just two months before the pandemic struck. "The past two years were the most demanding time of my life and I spent many sleepless nights during this time," she says.

From handling the logistics of sending the testing kits to various testing labs to keeping a close watch on all new emerging variants, Abraham and her teams enabled India to make huge strides in the direction of curbing the spread of the virus. Her achievement is not only confined to maintaining the logistics; she and her institute were at the helm of supervising all vaccine trials happening in India.

Looking back at her terrific career trajectory, Abraham, former head and professor at the department of clinical virology at Christian Medical College, says, "We should not chase success and recognition in life. I would say these things come to you automatically; I never chased this job, this came to me."

Under the stewardship of Abraham, NIV paved the way for India to emerge out of the gloom emanating from this deadly virus. "I and NIV are not in relaxing mode even now, though the cases are going down. And now it's busy in a different way as we are preparing for the future," she says.

@RajatMishra9518