INSACOG Syllabus GS Paper 2 – Sci and Tech)

News-CRUX-10     25th December 2023        
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Context: Recently, the India SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) stated that there was no need for an additional fourth booster dose of vaccine against COVID-19 amid the surge in cases and the detection of the JN.1 sub-variant.

India SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG)

  • About: It is jointly initiated by the Union Health Ministry of Health, and Department of Biotechnology (DBT) with Council for Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
  • Formation: It is a collaborative effort involving 54 laboratories.
  • Aim: At monitoring genomic variations in the SARS-CoV-2 virus through sentinel sequencing. 

  • Initiative Facilitated by: National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Delhi, in partnership with the Central Surveillance Unit (CSU) under the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP).
  • Purpose of INSACOG: In response to the unprecedented global public health challenges posed by the SARS-CoV-2 virus (COVID-19), INSACOG was established to conduct comprehensive whole genome sequencing across the nation.
  • Genetic Code Monitoring: Changes or mutations in the genetic code of the SARS-CoV-2 virus are closely observed through analysis and sequencing of samples conducted in laboratories under INSACOG.
  • Objectives of INSACOG

oINSACOG seeks to ascertain the status of Variants of Interest (VoI) and Variants of Concern (VoC) within the country.

oEstablishing sentinel surveillance and surge surveillance mechanisms to detect genomic variants early on, aiding in the formulation of effective public health responses.

oDetermining the presence of genomic variants in samples collected during super-spreader events and in areas reporting an increasing trend of cases, deaths, etc.

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