The Prime Minister announced on 12 May 2022 that the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) would be extended to India’s neighbouring countries. India has developed low-cost mitigation technologies for testing, treating, and data management. India’s genomic consortium has contributed significantly to the global database on the virus.

About INSACOG

  1. INSACOG was established in December 2020 as a joint initiative of the Union Health Ministry of Health and Department of Biotechnology (DBT) (under the Ministry of Science and Technology) with the Council for Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to expand the whole-genome sequencing of SARS-CoV-2.
  2. INSACOG started out with the participation of 10 national research laboratories of the central government, and gradually expanded to a network of 38 labs, including private labs, operating on a hub-and-spoke model.
  3. The 10 INSACOG Genome Sequencing Laboratories handhold the new laboratories, and the pan-India consortium works to monitor genomic variations in SARS-CoV-2 by a sentinel sequencing effort which is facilitated by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), involving the Central Surveillance Unit (CSU) under the central government’s Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP).
  4. The data from the genome sequencing laboratories is analysed as per the field data trends to study the linkages, if any, between the genomic variants and epidemiological trends.
  5. This helps to understand super spreader events and outbreaks, and strengthen public health interventions across the country to help break chains of transmission.
  6. INSACOG is also working to establish a systematic correlation between genome sequencing and clinical outcomes.