The decline in daily new infections across India has prompted INSACOG (India SARS-CoV-2 Genome Consortium), the consortium of labs focused on sequencing coronavirus variants, to “prioritise” new surveillance approaches.
In view of currently declining cases and importance of early detection of increased transmission in the future, INSACOG will prioritise developing and expanding a SARS-CoV-2 sewage surveillance program.
The CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, which is also part of the INSACOG network, has since early 2020 been collecting sewage from large drains in cities to check for the presence of the virus.
Because a large fraction of those afflicted by the virus are asymptomatic but are carriers of infection, their body fluids and stool often contain traces of the virus.
Finding large proportions of it in public drains can often be a precursor to a fresh outbreak, with a rise in symptomatic infections.
Delta (B.1.617.2 and AY.x) continues to be the main VOC (Variant of Concern) in India. No new VOI (Variant of Interest) or VOC are noted in India.