Such an analysis was necessary due to the varied differences in India’s 1.3 billion population, he opined. “There are a handful of labs in the country which could undertake such an exercise. But it is doubtful whether anyone has done it so far, as there have been no announcements on this till date,” added Dr John.
While the Pune-based Serum Institute India (SII) had the facilities to do such analyses, it was doubtful if even they had undertaken such trials given the fact that they were already overburdened with meeting the vaccine need of the whole world, he added.
Dr John said a genomic analysis would also reveal whether the Indian version of the virus was in any way connected to the mutated strains identified in the UK, Brazil and South Africa.
Genomic analysis deals with the identification, measurement and comparison of genomic features such as DNA sequence, structural variations gene expression or functional and regulatory expression annotation on a genomic scale – in simpler words, it would reveal if the virus has mutated.
Dr John’s statement came in the backdrop of a spike in cases reported in various states, which gave rise to concerns whether it indicated a second wave of the infection.