10 labs across India to monitor genomic changes in new mutant coronaviruses

Tuesday, December 29, 2020
10 labs across india to monitor genomic changes in new mutant coronaviruses

The government has turned ten laboratories to serve as regional hub laboratories. These labs, as part of government’s surveillance strategy, will monitor the genomic variations in the Sars-Cov-2 virus.

The ministry has also established Indian Sars-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) which will oversee the surveillance work on a regular basis and also assist in developing potential vaccines in future.

All the genomic sequencing data will be maintained in a national database at two sites, National Institute of Biomedical Genomics, Kalyani (West Bengal), and Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, New Delhi.

The 10 regional genome sequencing laboratories spread across the country will cater to the nearest states, which will send 5% of the positive samples to these labs for genome sequencing. The viral genome sequencing data generated by regional genome sequencing laboratories will be sent to the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Delhi for collation and integration.

Further, the relevant case details and travel details of any sample detected with the new UK variant, or any other found to be of significance from public health perspective, will be communicated to NCDC (Director) Nodal Unit. 

Apart from ascertaining the current status of the new variant of Sars-Cov-2 virus, the project also aims at establishing sentinel surveillance for early detection of genomic variants with public health implications. Besides, it will help determine genomic variants in super-spreader events.


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