Govt. Extend INSACOG to neighbour
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- This helps to understand super spreader events and outbreaks, and strengthen public health interventions across the country to help break chains of transmission.
- INSACOG is also working to establish a systematic correlation between genome sequencing and clinical outcomes.