Eminent virologist Shahid Jameel has resigned as the head of the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG). The consortium was set up by the government in December last year for laboratory and epidemiological surveillance of Covid-19 strains in the country.
The scientific advisory group had established a network of laboratories to carry out gene sequencing of virus samples. It was given a tenure of six months. The government later extended the tenure.
Jameel is also the director of Trivedi School of Biosciences at Ashoka University. He is well known for his research on the Hepatitis E virus.
It is unclear why he stepped down as the chief of the consortium. Reports say that he had been critical of the government’s Covid policies.
The Centre set up INSACOG to detect genomic variants of the SARS CoV 2, after concerns that the B117 variant may have entered the country. The variant, found to be more transmissible, was first detected in the UK.
Last week, Shahid Jameel had said that the second wave may have flattened but the climb down will be a more prolonged, long-drawn-out process than the first and will possibly run till July.