Two pan-India studies on Covid-19 virus genome suggest no major mutation: PMO

At least two studies on the Genome of SARS-CoV-2 or the novel coronavirus in India suggested that the deadly virus is genetically stable and there is no major mutation in the virus, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on Saturday confirmed.

Both of these pan-India studies have been conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Department of BioTechnology (DBT).

The PMO also added that three coronavirus vaccines are in advanced stages of development in India, out of which two are in Phase II and one is in Phase-III.

It further said Indian Scientists and research teams are collaborating and strengthening the research capacities in neighbouring countries such as Afghanistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Mauritius, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

The PMO’s statement came as reviewed the coronavirus pandemic situation in the country today and the preparedness of vaccine delivery, distribution, and administration. The meeting was attended by Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, Principal Secretary to PM, NITI Aayog members, Principal Scientific Advisor, senior scientists, officers of PMO, and other departments of the government.

Calling for full preparedness to ensure speedy access to virus vaccines for every citizen, PM Modi suggested developing a vaccine delivery system on the lines of conduct of polls and disaster management while involving all levels of government and citizen groups.

The PM also insisted on continued social distancing and Covid-appropriate behaviour such as wearing the mask, regularly washing hands and sanitation, especially in the wake of upcoming festival season.

PM Modi also noted a steady decline in the daily cases and the growth rate. At the same time, he also cautioned against any complacency at the decline and called for keeping up the efforts to contain the pandemic.

Modi further directed that keeping in view the geographical span and diversity of the country, the access to the vaccine should be ensured speedily.

He stressed that every step in the logistics, delivery, and administration should be put in place rigorously.

Meanhwile, India’s coronavirus caseload has gone past 74 lakh, while the number of people who have recuperated from the infection has crossed 65 lakh pushing the recovery rate to 87.78%, according to data updated by the Union Health Ministry on Saturday.

The coronavirus death toll climbed to 1,12,998 with the virus claiming 837 lives in a day, while the infection tally mounted to 74,32,680 with 62,212 new cases being reported, the data updated at 8 am showed.

The active cases of coronavirus infection dropped below eight lakh for the first time in one-and-half months, the ministry said.

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