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Dr. Harsh Vardhan announces the successful completion of first Pan India 1000 Genome sequencing of SARS- CoV-2

New Delhi:1/8/20: Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Minister for Science & Technology, Health & Family Welfare, and Earth Sciences announced the successful completion of PAN-India 1000 Genome sequencing of SARS- CoV-2 here today. He took a meeting with Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and reviewed the COVID-19 activities of DBT, Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), and DBT-Autonomous Institutions (AIs).

During the meeting, Dr. Harsh Vardhan also launched and dedicated to the nation the largest network of five dedicated COVID-19 Biorepositories established by Department of Biotechnology in record time. These are at Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI) Faridabad, Institute of Life Science (ILS) Bhubaneshwar, Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS) New Delhi, National Centre for Cell Science (NCCS) Pune and Institute for Stem Cell Science and Regenerative Medicine (InStem) Bangalore. He complimented the efforts of DBT in “the relentless war for mitigation of this Pandemic”.

 

Dr Harsh Vardhan said, “Given the importance of this information for public health response initiatives requiring investigation into the transmission of COVID-19, the sequence data will soon be released in Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAID) for use by researchers across the Globe”.  “The information in the database will improve our understanding on how the virus is spreading, ultimately helping to interrupt the transmission chains, prevent new cases of infection, and provide impetus to research on intervention measures”, he added. The Minister also pointed out, “The data analysis, which is ongoing, may bring out some interesting conclusions to help in our fight against COVID-19.”

The Department of Biotechnology had launched a Pan India 1000 SARS–CoV-2 RNA Genome Sequencing programme in May this year to be done by Autonomous Institutes of DBT, collaborating with national laboratories and clinical organizations.

The consortium coordinated by National Institute of Biomedical Genomics (NIBMG-Kalyani), West Bengal and Five other National clusters, ILS-Bhubaneswar, Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD)-Hyderabad, InStem- National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS)-IISc-Bangalore, and NCCS-Pune are actively participating in sequencing and analysis. Collaborating National Institutes and clinical organizations involved are ICMR – National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases, Institute of Post-Graduate Medical Education and Research (IPGMER) -Kolkata, IISc-Bangalore, AIIMS- Rishikesh (Uttarakhand), Maulana Azad Medical College (MAMC)-Delhi, THSTI-Faridabad, Grant Medical College (GMC)-Aurangabad, Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (MGIMS)-Wardha, Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC) and Byramjee Jeejeebhoy Government Medical College (BJMC)-Pune, and other hospitals.

The Consortium has achieved its initial goal of completing the sequencing of 1000 SARS-CoV-2 genomes from nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swabs collected from individuals testing positive for COVID19 by Real Time PCR. The samples were collected across 10 states covering different zones within India.

 

 

About Ashok Palit

Ashok Palit has completed his graduation from Upendranath College Soro, Balasore and post graduation from Utkal University in Odia Language and literture.. He has also carved out a niche for himself as a scribe of eminence after joining the profession in 1988. He is also an independent media production professional. He brings loads of experience to Advanced Media, Ashok Palit as a cineaste has been active in film criticism for over three decades. As a film society activist, he soared to eminence for his profound commitment to the art film appreciation and aesthetics of cinema. His mode of discourse is often erudite but always lucid and comprehensible marked by a perfect acumen so rare in the field. A film aesthete with an immense fond of critical sensibilities, he wrote about growth and development of odia cinema in New Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Asian Age and Screen. He has been working as an Editor for Cine Samaya from 2002-2004.. He had made solid contribution on cinema in many odia Dailies and weekly such as Samaj, Prajatantra, Dharatri, Samaya, Satabadi, and weekly Samaya.

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