Imphal ,July 11: For the first time in the region, an Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) Sequencing Facility was formally inaugurated for detection of COVID variants in Imphal on Saturday.
With this, samples now can be tested in the INSACOG sequencing facility at the Institute of Bio-resources and Sustainable Development (IBSD) Campus at Takyelpat in the outskirt of Imphal where genome sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 will be performed not only for Manipur but also for other states of North East India,according to a press release from Chief Minister's secretariat here.
INSACOG aims to focus on sequencing of clinical samples to understand the disease dynamics and severity. Inaugurating the facility at the Chief Minister's Secretariat here on Saturday, the state Chief Minister N Biren Singh expressed happiness on ISBD, Imphal becoming one of the regional sequencing laboratories approved as part of the consortium of 28 National Laboratories to monitor the genomic variations in SARS-CoV-2.
Stating that Viral Genome Sequencing has become very critical in the fight against the COVID pandemic as new variants of concern have emerged as the dominant strains across the world, he said that sequencing would facilitate in identifying hotspots with variants of concern and provide critical information to aid appropriate public health response.
The analysis of data collected would also help in studying whether the mutation influences transmission, clinical outcomes, and severity and impact the efficacy of public health intervention and vaccines, he added. He was also hopeful that the inclusion of IBSD, Imphal as part of the consortium of 28 National Laboratories would be of immense help in the ongoing efforts of the State Government's fight against COVID-19.
Advisor to Chief Minister (Health) Dr Sapam Ranjan, Chief Secretary Dr Rajesh Kumar,Principal Secretary (Health and Family Welfare) V Vumlunmang, Director(IBSD) Prof Pulok Kumar Mukherjee and other officials attended the day's formal inaugural function of the facility.
According to Prof Pulok of IBSD, Manipur which is under the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India, a similar INSACOG facility was also installed at Jorhat. But there's no report of its operation till date.