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Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Consortia (INSACOG)

  • IASbaba
  • November 9, 2021
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Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Consortia (INSACOG)

Part of: Prelims and GS II – Health

Context According to the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG), the frequency of the new AY.4.2 variant of COVID-19 is less than 0.1% of all Variants of Interest (VOI)/ Variants of Concern (VOC), and is too low to be of concern at this time.

  • The INSACOG noted that Delta (B.1.617.2 and AY.x) continues to be the main VOC in India and no new variant VOI or VOC have been noted in India.
  • The Delta variant, which was first found in India in October 2020, led to the devastating second wave of the coronavirus pandemic in the country.

What is AY4.2?

  • AY.4.2 is a descendant of the Delta variant of COVID-19. The Delta variant, also known as B.1.617.2, was first identified in India in October 2020.
  • The AY.4.2 sub-lineage contains 2 mutations in its spike protein — A222V and Y145H.
  • It is dubbed “Delta Plus” and now named VUI-21OCT-01 by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA)).

What is Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Consortia (INSACOG)?

  • Coordinated by: Department of Biotechnology (DBT) along with MoH&FW, ICMR, and CSIR
  • The consortium will ascertain the status of a new variant of SARS-CoV-2 in the country. 
  • INSACOG will have a high level Inter-Ministerial Steering Committee. 
  • It will have a Scientific Advisory Group for scientific and technical guidance.
  • Aim: To monitor the genomic variations in the SARS-CoV-2 on a regular basis through a multi-laboratory network.
  • This vital research consortium will also assist in developing potential vaccines in the future. 
  • The consortium will also establish a sentinel surveillance for early detection of genomic variants with public health implication, and determine the genomic variants in the unusual events/trends (super-spreader events, high mortality/morbidity trend areas etc.)

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