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Virologist Shahid Jameel, who said scientists are facing 'stubborn resistance', quits Modi govt's Covid panel

Senior virologist Shahid Jameel had recently written a piece in The New York Times, in which he had said that scientists in India are facing a "stubborn response to evidence-based policymaking." 

Shahid Jameel quits Modi govt Covid panel INSACOG-VPN
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New Delhi, First Published May 17, 2021, 1:34 PM IST
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Virologist Shahid Jameel, who said scientists are facing 'stubborn resistance', quits Modi govt's Covid panel

Senior virologist Shahid Jameel has quit the chairman of the scientific advisory group of the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium.

The INSACOG was set up by the Narendra Modi government in December last year for laboratory and epidemiological surveillance of circulating virus strains in India.

Jameel had recently written a piece in The New York Times, in which he had said that scientists in India are facing a "stubborn response to evidence-based policymaking." 

Jameel, the director of the Trivedi School of Biosciences at Ashoka University, said that there was a need to increase testing and isolation, ramp up hospital beds by creating more temporary facilities, rope in retired doctors and nurses, and strengthen the supply chain for critical medicines and oxygen.

In the NYT piece, Jameel wrote: "All these measures have wide support among my fellow scientists in India. But they are facing stubborn resistance to evidence-based policymaking. 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."

Under INSACOG, ten national laboratories equipped to study virus variants had been brought together under the National Centre for Disease Control.

The INSACOG had reportedly warned government officials in early March of a new contagious virus variant evolving in India. The variant -- B.1.617 -- is one of the reasons why the country is bearing the brunt of the second wave of Coronavirus cases.

Jameel had in April expressed concern that authorities were not paying enough attention to the evidence as they framed policy.

NOTE: Asianet News humbly requests everyone to wear masks, sanitize, maintain social distancing and get vaccinated as soon as eligible. Together we can and will break the chain #ANCares #IndiaFightsCorona

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