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2021 OCT 20

Preliminary   > Social Justice   >   Health   >   COVID 19

Why in news?

  • The decline in daily new infections across India has prompted INSACOG, the consortium of labs focussed on sequencing coronavirus variants, to prioritise new surveillance approaches.


  • INSACOG stands for ‘Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium
  • It is a consortium of 28 National Laboratories to monitor the genomic variations in the SARS-CoV-2.
  • INSACOG is a multi-laboratory, multi-agency, Pan-India network to monitor genomic variations in the SARS-CoV-2 by a sentinel sequencing effort.
  • The network carries out whole genome sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 virus across the nation, aiding the understanding of how the virus spreads and evolves, and provide information to aid public health response.

Established by:

  • 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) in 2020

How does INSACOG work?

  • Samples are collected and transported from districts/sentinel sites to the Regional Genome Sequencing Laboratories (RGSLs) by the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) machinery.
  • The labs then conduct genome sequencing and identify variants of concern (VOC) or variants of interests (VOI).
  • The genome sequencing analysis and clinico-epidemiological correlation established by IDSP is shared with the Health Ministry, CSIR, DBT, ICMR and the states/UTs for the formulation and implementation of the necessary public health measures.
  • The new mutations/variants of concern are cultured, and genomic studies are undertaken to see the impact on vaccine efficacy and immune escape properties.


Which of the following statements are correct regarding ‘INSACOG’?

1. It is a consortium of laboratories to monitor the genomic variations in the SARS-CoV-2

2. It is established by World Health Organization

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2