A top Indian virologist has resigned from a platform of scientific advisors set up by the government to detect variants of the corono virus. He gave this information to the news agency Reuters on Sunday. However, Shahid Jameel, chairman of the scientific advisory group of the forum known as INSACOG, refused to give a reason for his resignation.
“I am not obliged to give any reason,” he said in a text message. He said he resigned on Friday.
Renu Swaroop, secretary of the Department of Biotechnology, which oversees INSACOG, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the affidavit. Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan also did not say anything about it. Another member of the INSACOG stated that he was not aware of any direct disagreement between Jamil and the government.
A top government scientist who was part of the forum, on the condition of anonymity, said that he did not think Jamil’s departure would interfere with surveillance of the virus variants of INSACOG.
Reuters reported earlier this month that the Indian SARS-CoV-2 genetics consortium, INSACOG, warned government officials in early March about a new and more contagious version of the corona virus in the country. Due to the variant, B.1.617, India is currently struggling with the world’s worst infection of Kovid-19 cases.
Asked why the government did not react more strongly to the findings, for example on the matter of banning large gatherings. In response, Jamil told Reuters that he was concerned that the authorities were not paying enough attention to the evidence.