No fresh virus variants of concern in India: INSACOG

  • IASbaba
  • November 12, 2021
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No fresh virus variants of concern in India: INSACOG

Part of: Prelims and GS-II – Health

Context Despite an increase in new cases this week, the India SARS- CoV-2 Genome Consortium (INSACOG) has said there are no new virus variants of concern on the horizon in India.

  • The bulk of cases in India were the Delta variant and its related sub-variants

Key takeaways 

  • According to the latest update from the World Health Organisation (WHO), Delta has outcompeted other variants in most countries and there was now “declining prevalence” of other variants among SARS-CoV-2 sequences
  • Public Health England stated that AY4.2, a Delta variant sublineage, was responsible for a “slowly increasing” proportion of cases in the U.K. 
  • It is also present in multiple other countries and is seen in travellers to the U.K. from a large number of countries. 
  • The INSACOG, however, said the presence of the lineage was “very infrequent” in India.

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.)

Do you know? 

  • AY.x refers to a family of sublineages that can range from 1-25. 
  • They have a common set of core mutations but large variation in others.

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