Top virologist Shahid Jameel quits govt COVID panel after criticising Centre’s handling of pandemic

Just weeks after criticising the Central government's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, senior virologist Shahid Jameel has resigned as the chairman of a forum of scientific advisers set up by the Centre to detect variants of COVID-19 in India. The forum, scientific advisory group of Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genome Sequencing Consortia (INSACOG), was set up by the Narendra Modi government last year for laboratory and epidemiological surveillance of circulating strains of COVID-19 in the country. Under the consortium, 10 national laboratories equipped to study virus variants, had been brought together under the aegis of the National Centre for Disease Control. This comes as a setback for the government's efforts against the COVID-19 as the country is currently reeling under the severe second wave of the pandemic.