Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG)

The government has set up the “Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG)” for the genomic surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 across India.

Highlights

This was announced by the Union Minister for Science & Technology, Earth Sciences and Health & Family Welfare in a written reply in Lok Sabha. The minister also highlighted that, this consortium comprises of ten Regional Genome Sequencing Laboratories (RGSLs) namely, ILS Bhubaneshwar, NIBMG Kalyani, NCCS Pune, ICMR-NIV Pune, CDFD Hyderabad, CSIR-CCMB Hyderabad, NIMHANS Bengaluru, InStem/NCBS Bengaluru, CSIR-IGIB Delhi, and NCDC Delhi.

Regional Genome Sequencing Laboratories (RGSLs)

The RGSLs across the country are currently utilising their internal funds and resources to undertake the activities of consortium. The proposal to sanction the fund is under the financial appraisal process with the Department of Biotechnology.

About INSACOG

The INSACOG Comprises of 10 laboratories for the purpose of Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS). The laboratories have been set up with following objectives:

  1. To find out the current status of new variant of SARS COV-2 in India.
  2. To establish a sentinel surveillance in order to detect the genomic variants early with the public health implication.
  3. To determine the genomic variants in unusual events or trends like the super spreader events and high mortality or morbidity trend areas.

The INSACOG was proposed to sequence the five per cent of all positive samples initially from each state. This was decided so as to identify the potential outbreaks and the related strains under the continuous surveillance process. Under the consortium, priority will be given to Covid-19 laboratories or hospitals in urban areas along with the tertiary care District Hospitals in accordance with the defined Standard Operating Procedure (SOP).

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