In a significant development, the Prime Minister's Office said in a statement on Saturday (October 17) that two pan-India studies on the genome of the coronavirus found no major mutation in the deadly virus in India. The statement added that the studies found that coronavirus is genetically stable in India.
The Prime Minister's Office said in a statement, "Two pan-India studies on the Genome of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19 virus) in India conducted by ICMR and the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) suggest that the virus is genetically stable and there is no major mutation in the virus."
The PMO issued the statement shortly after Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting on the Covid-19 pandemic situation, vaccine delivery, distribution and administration preparedness.
It is to be noted that the Centre is developing plans to distribute vaccine even as the work continues to develop a vaccine for Covid-19.
Earlier it was reported that many experts were concerned that any major mutation in coronavirus could affect the development of an effective vaccine. But some recent studies have showed that mutations of coronavirus would not affect the effectiveness of the vaccines.
In September, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan had said no major mutations have been found in strains of SARS-CoV-2 in India till now. Harsh Vardhan had also informed the media that a large-scale sequencing of nationally representative strains collected over the past few weeks is already conducted by Indian Council of Medical Research and the results on mutations of the virus will be available in October.
The PMO statement also revealed that a National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC) hs prepared a detailed blueprint of vaccine storage, distribution, and administration. The NEGVAC has prepared the blueprint in consultation with state governments and all relevant stakeholders.