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Harsh Vardhan launched largest network of 5 dedicated COVID-19 Biorepositories; 1st Pan-India 1000 Genome Sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 Completed

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Harsh-Vardhan-announces-the-successful-completion-of-first-Pan-India-1000-Genome-sequencing-of-SARS--CoV-2On 1st August 2020, Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare announced the completion of 1st Pan-India 1000 Genome Sequencing of SARS-CoV-2. He reviewed the COVID-19 activities of Department of Biotechnology(DBT), Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) and DBT-Autonomous Institutions (AIs) in the meeting with DBT.

He also launched the largest network of five dedicated COVID-19 Biorepositories by the DBT 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
  • Institute for Stem Cell Science and Regenerative Medicine (InStem), Bangalore.

Pan India 1000 SARS–CoV-2 RNA Genome Sequencing programme:

i.The programme launched by the Department of Biotechnology(DBT) in May 2020, was conducted by the autonomous institutes of DBT in collaboration with the national laboratories and clinical organisation.

ii.The consortium was coordinated by National Institute of Biomedical Genomics (NIBMG-Kalyani), West Bengal and five other National clusters, Institute of Life Science (ILS)-Bhubaneswar, Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD)-Hyderabad, InStem- National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS) -Indian Institute of Science(IISc) -Bangalore, and National Centre for Cell Science (NCCS) – Pune are actively participating in sequencing and analysis.

iii.The institutes and clinical organisations that are involved in the programme are include ICMR – National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases,

  • Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (IPGMER) – Kolkata,
  • IISc – Bangalore, 
  • All India Institute of Medical Sciences(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) 
  • Byramjee Jeejeebhoy Government Medical College (BJMC) – Pune

Key Points:

i.The initial goal of the program of sequencing the 1000 SARS-CoV-2 genomes from nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swabs collected from individuals testing positive for COVID19 by Real Time Polymerase chain reaction(PCR).

ii.The sequence data will be released in the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data(GISAID) for the use of researchers from all across the globe.

iii.This database will increase the understanding about the behaviour and spread of the virus which will support the transmission of COVID-19.

iv.This data analysis will provide the conclusions to support the combat against COVID-19.


i.Around 16 vaccines are in different development stages, the Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) vaccine is currently under the Phase-3 trial, Zydus Cadila DNA Vaccine is in Phase I and II trial stages.

ii.5 Good clinical laboratory practice (GCLP) clinical trial sites and 6 animal models for Vaccine Development Studies are also prepared 

About Ministry of Health and Family Welfare(MoHFW):
Union Minister– Harsh Vardhan
Minister of State–  Ashwini Kumar Choubey

Recent related News:

i.Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan and Minister of State (MoS), Ashwini Kumar Choubey launched the Annual “India TB (Tuberculosis) Report 2020” through a virtual event which was released by Central TB Division (CTD).

ii.Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare launched “COVID KATHA- A Multimedia Guide for Mass Awareness”, a multimedia guide on COVID-19 on the occasion of the 50th DST Foundation Day.