Department of Biotechnology organises public webinar on ‘Genome Sequencing of SARS-CoV-19’

NEW DELHI: In the backdrop of reports of emergence of variants of the SARS-CoV-2, in the UK and some other parts of the world, the Government of India had established a national multi-agency consortium, Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Consortium (INSACOG) in December 2020, consisting of ten laboratories of the Department of Biotechnology, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHF&W) with the overall aim of monitoring the genomic variations in the SARS-CoV-2 on a regular basis.

The responsibility to correlate the clinical aspects and coordinate the collection of samples from states, for this purpose, was provided to National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), MoHFW. INSACOG has a data repository at IGIB, New Delhi and NIBMG, Kalyani.

For improving the understanding of the nuances of SARS-CoV-2 genome sequencing and its public health relevance in the context of the current pandemic, the Department of Biotechnology yesterday conducted a public webinar on the “Genome Sequencing of SARS-CoV-19″. The webinar aimed at demystifying the science behind mutations in the viral genome, viral genome sequencing, and public health implications of the mutations in the viral genome.

A panel of experts from various reputed institutes & organisations discussed different aspects of genome sequencing and highlighted the importance of sequencing the Genome of SARS-CoV-19, and the work done by the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium in ascertaining the presence of variants of SARS-CoV-2, establishing sentinel surveillance for early detection, and determining the genomic variants in the unusual events and trends.