News: Government of India has launched the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Consortia Group(INSACOG).
- INSACOG: It has been established to monitor the genomic variations in the SARS-CoV-2 on a regular basis through a multi-laboratory network.
- Composition: It comprises 10 labs (NIBMG Kolkata, ILS Bhubaneswar, NIV Pune, CCS Pune, CCMB Hyderabad, CDFD Hyderabad, InSTEM Bengaluru, NIMHANS Bengaluru, IGIB Delhi and NCDC Delhi).
- Coordinated by: The group is coordinated by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) along with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare(MoH&FW), ICMR and CSIR.
- Nodal Unit for Maintaining Database: National Centre for Disease Control(NCDC) will be the nodal unit for maintaining a database of all samples of the new variants of public health significance. The data will be epidemiologically analysed, interpreted, and shared with states for investigation, contact tracing and planning response strategies.
- Other key Functions of the INSACOG:
- It will establish sentinel surveillance for early detection of genomic variants with public health implications and to determine genomic variants in unusual events or trends such as super-spreader events.
- Knowledge generated through this vital research consortium will also assist in developing diagnostics and potential therapeutics and vaccines in the future.
- The group will also closely work with NCDC on activities like SOPs, data annotation, data analysis, data release among others.