Covid-19: 17 more labs to now monitor variants

By: |
May 18, 2021 2:30 AM

Vardhan, while announcing this at the 26th meeting of the group of ministers (GoM), informed that the 17 labs were going to be added to the INSACOG network to increase the number of samples screened. The INSACOG network is currently served by 10 labs across India that are tracking emerging variants and mutants in the second wave.

Variants of the virus have spread across the country have been responsible for faster transmission and increased virulence of the infection.Variants of the virus have spread across the country have been responsible for faster transmission and increased virulence of the infection.

Union health minister Harsh Vardhan on Monday said seventeen additional labs will be added to the Indian SARS-CoV-2 genomic consortium (INSACOG) network to monitor variants of the Covid-19 virus.

Vardhan, while announcing this at the 26th meeting of the group of ministers (GoM), informed that the 17 labs were going to be added to the INSACOG network to increase the number of samples screened. The INSACOG network is currently served by 10 labs across India that are tracking emerging variants and mutants in the second wave.

Sujeet K Singh, director of National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), presented a report on the mutations of SARS-CoV-2 and Variants of Concern (VoCs) being reported in India. There was a prevalence of VoCs like the B.1.1.7 and B.1.617 across India, Singh said. The UK variant, B.1.1.7, was found predominant in samples collected in Punjab and Chandigarh between February and March, 2021, he said.

At least 5% of the samples that have tested positive have to be sequenced to enable better monitoring, but India has been able to sequence only around 1% of the samples till now (which is a total of 18,053 samples). Variants of the virus have spread across the country have been responsible for faster transmission and increased virulence of the infection.

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