Covid-19: 17 new labs for genome sequencing soon | India News
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NEW DELHI: Amid growing concerns about new SARS-CoV2 variants and an increase in Covid-19 cases, the government plans to add 17 labs to the INSACOG (India SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Consortia) to Increase Surveillance Through Genomic Sequencing and Closely Monitor Variants, Minister of Health Hard Vardhan he told the group of ministersGoM) in Covid-19 on Monday.
The move will allow for the sequencing of many more samples and allow for improved spatial analysis. INSACOG currently has 10 laboratories throughout the country. According to the National Center for Disease Control, the B.1.1.7 lineage (UK variant) was found to be predominant in samples collected in Punjab and Chandigarh between February and March.
The minister congratulated defense scientists for launching the country’s first indigenous anti-Covid drug, 2-deoxy-D-glucose or 2-DG (developed by DRDO in collaboration with INMAS and Hyderabad-based Dr Reddy’s Laboratories), said the ministry. The minister reported that drugs can change the rules of the game in the country’s response to the pandemic.
The government also outlined its plans to increase testing capabilities, particularly in rural areas that are now more susceptible to the virus. The Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) said that testing capacity is projected to increase to 45 lakhs (RTPCR 18 lakh, RAT 27 lakh) per day, with the deployment of mobile RT-PCR test vans and amplification of the RAT tests.
Currently, the testing capacity is 25 lakh of samples (RTPCR 13 lakh, RAT 12 lakh).
The new labs will allow for the sequencing of many more samples and allow for improved spatial analysis. INSACOG currently has 10 laboratories throughout the country.