Centre asks states to increase genome sequencing as COVID cases rise globally, covid surge in US and china, India takes steps to contain outbreak

New Delhi: Amid a sudden surge in COVID-19 cases in Japan, South Korea, Brazil, China and the US, the central government on Tuesday asked all states and Union territories to follow up preparations for full genome sequencing of positive samples. emerging variations.

In a letter to states and UTs, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said the exercise will enable timely detection of new variants circulating in the country and facilitate the adoption of necessary public health measures.

He pointed out that India has been able to limit the transmission of the coronavirus by adhering to the five-fold strategy of the trial vaccine and proper behavior against Covid and is experiencing around 1,200 cases every week.

The public health challenge of COVID-19 continues globally with around 35 lakh cases being reported every week, Bhushan said.

In his letter, in June of this year the ministry also referred to operational guidelines for revising the surveillance strategy in the context of COVID-19. Detecting and containing outbreaks of new SARS-CoV-2 variants requires early detection, isolation, testing and timely management of suspected and confirmed cases.

“That is why it is very important to follow the trends of the existing variants,” he said.

“In view of the sudden number of cases observed in Japan, the United States of America, the Republic of Korea, Brazil and China, it is essential to prepare the whole genome sequencing of samples of positive cases to trace the variants through the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) network,” he said.

“In this context, all states are requested to ensure that samples of all positive cases are sent to the INSACOG Genome Laboratories mapped to states and UTs as much as possible, on a daily basis,” he added.

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