Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Sunday asked the Union government to spend more on research related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He urged people to keep following all COVID-19 protocols and stressed that those with comorbidities should be extra cautious.

"It is necessary for all of us to follow COVID-19 protocols and save others from getting infected," Gehlot said in a statement.

Claiming that the US and UK are carrying out COVID-19-related research at a cost of $1 billion and 18.5 million pounds, Gehlot said the Union government has allocated only ₹2,663 crore for health research in the general budget, which is 34.4 % less than the revised estimate of ₹4,062 crore for the financial year 2020-21.

It cannot be said for how long the pandemic will persist and the Centre should increase the budget for COVID-19-related research, he said.

Gehlot said his government had recently announced the establishment of the Institute of Tropical Medicine and Virology in Jaipur for the investigation, treatment and research of virus-borne diseases.

It is hoped that with the establishment of this institute, there will be cooperation in overcoming such diseases early in the future, he said.
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