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Genomic surveillance plays a crucial role in tracking new variants of the novel coronavirus. Prime Minister Modi announced that India’s genomic sequencing network will be extended to neighbouring countries during the second global Covid virtual summit. The Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (Insacog), established in December 2020, will soon include neighbouring countries.

Insacog aims to expand whole-genome sequencing of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in India to understand its spread and evolution. Any genetic changes or mutations in the virus can be observed through analysis and sequencing in Insacog laboratories.

India has developed low-cost mitigation technologies for testing, treating, and data management, which have been offered to other countries. The Indian genomic consortium has made significant contributions to the global virus database. Modi stated that this network will be extended to neighbouring countries.

Modi emphasized the need for a coordinated global response to combat future health emergencies and called for reforms in the World Health Organization. He stressed the importance of streamlining the WHO’s approval process for vaccines and therapeutics to maintain a stable supply chain.

India leads the world’s largest vaccination drive, with nearly 90% of the adult population fully vaccinated. The country manufactures four WHO-approved vaccines and has the capacity to produce 5 billion doses this year. Modi highlighted the use of traditional medicine in India to boost immunity and announced the establishment of a WHO center for traditional medicine in the country.

The Covid pandemic continues to disrupt lives and supply chains, testing the resilience of open societies. India has adopted a people-centric strategy against the pandemic, making the highest-ever allocation to annual healthcare. Modi participated in the global Covid virtual summit, aiming to address ongoing pandemic challenges and strengthen global health security.

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