×
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Virologist Shahid Jameel resigns from INSACOG Science Advisory Chair

alyan Ray
Last Updated : 17 May 2021, 12:35 IST
Last Updated : 17 May 2021, 12:35 IST
Last Updated : 17 May 2021, 12:35 IST
Last Updated : 17 May 2021, 12:35 IST

Follow Us :

Comments

Eminent virologist Shahid Jameel on Sunday resigned from the chair of the scientific advisory group of the INSACOG – a 10-laboratory consortium tasked to carry out genetic sequences of different variants of the SARS-CoV-2 circulating in India.

While confirming his resignation to DH, Jameel refused to elaborate on the reasons that had led to such a decision.

The resignation came within days of publication of an article by Jameel in The New York Times, in which the virologist wrote that his fellow scientists “are facing stubborn resistance to evidence-based policymaking” in India.

“On April 30, over 800 Indian scientists appealed to the Prime Minister, demanding access to the data that could help them further study, predict and curb this virus. Decision-making based on data is yet another casualty, as the pandemic in India has spun out of control. The human cost we are enduring will leave a permanent scar.”

The resignation happened at a time when INSACOG scientists involved in the sequencing work internally expressed their worries on the slow pace of sequencing and lack of efforts to link the genetic evidence on the new variants with the epidemiological data to derive clinical conclusions.

When asked what the government did in the four months between November and March to avoid such a second wave scale as seen from March onwards, Jameel told DH last week, “The government was busy telling us that the endgame was near, congratulating itself for conquering “Corona” and boasting to the world.”

“This surge is brought on by two things - (a) complacency due to this narrative and (b) more infectious variants. The interim period was spent in elections ignoring preparation for a second wave. Even available containment facilities were dismantled,” stated Jameel, who is known for his critical views of some of the government’s Covid-19 policies and practices.

ADVERTISEMENT
Published 16 May 2021, 17:20 IST

Follow us on :

Follow Us

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT