Recently WHO announced that the UK covid-19 variant has been detected in more than 41 countries. The VOC-202012/01 the was first detected in South Africa. This variant is 70 per cent more transmissible than the other covid-19 mutants. UK Variant of COVID-19 detect in 41 countries

Has VOC-202012/01 reached India?

Yes. Around 38 people have been found infected with the COVID-19 mutant. The covid-19 variant has been detected in 10 samples at the National Institute of Mental Health and neurosciences, 11 samples at the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, 3 samples at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad and in five samples at the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune.

Which Indian institute has successfully isolated and cultured the United Kingdom covid-19 variant?

National Institute of virology (NIV), Pune has successfully isolated VOC-202012/01. It is to test the virus on COVID 19 vaccines that are developed and also on vaccines that are currently under trials in India.

What is India doing to fight against the UK covid-19 variant?

  • As soon as the United Kingdom variant covid-19 began to spread to different parts of the world, India temporally suspended all the flights coming from United Kingdom.
  • India also made it mandatory to test all the United Kingdom return air passengers through RT-PCR.
  • Standard Operating Protocol was issued to the states and UTs to tackle the mutant variant.
  • India launched INSACOG. The identified new covid-19 variant is sent to INSACOG (Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genetic Consortium) labs.

What is the INSACOG?

  • It was launched in the backdrop of the emergence of United Kingdom variant. It aims to accelerate virus surveillance, characterisation and genome sequencing.
  • INSACOG is a consortium of ten labs namely DBT-NIBMG, DBT-ILS, ICMR-NIV, DBT-NCCS, CSIR-CCMB, DBT-CDFD, DBT-InSTEM, NIMHANS, CSIR-IGIB and NCDC. These labs are now called INSACOG labs.
  • It will have inter-ministerial steering committee. The committee will provide guidance and oversight to the Consortium.
  • In future, It will help in developing vaccines, diagnostics and potential therapeutics.
  • A road map for INSACOG has been prepared by the Department of Biotechnology, CSIR (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research) and ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research).

UK Variant of COVID-19 detect in 41 countries