Centre asks states to ramp up genome sequencing as Covid cases surge globally | Mint – Mint

  • Rajesh Bhushan emphasised that such a move would help early detection of new variants and will facilitate undertaking of requisite public health measures.

“Covid-19 still persists around the world with around thirty-five lakh cases reported weekly” Union Secretary for Health Rajesh Bhushan sounded alarm ont he surging cases of Covid -19 globally. 
Bhushan on Tuesday sent a notice to all states and union territories to ramp up genome sequencing as the sudden surge in Covid cases in countries like Japan, United States of America, Republic of Korea, Brazil and China pose a threat of looming fourth wave of Covid pandemic.
He reiterated that all responsible authorities contribute in gearing up the genome sequencing process of all Covid positive samples. Bhushan emphasised that such a move would help early detection of new variants and will facilitate undertaking of requisite public health measures. 
Bhushan on Tuesday said, “in view of sudden spurt of cases being witnessed in Japan, USA, Korea, Brazil and China, it’s essential to gear up whole genome sequencing of positive case samples to track variants through Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium(INSACOG)network”.
He further added, “All states are requested to ensure that as far as possible samples of all positive cases, on a daily basis, are sent to the designated INSACOG Genome Sequencing Laboratories (IGSLs) that are mapped to the States and UTs”.
Bhushan mentioned that India with its focus on five-fold strategy of test-track-treat-vaccination and adherence to Covid Appropriate Behavior has been able to restrict the transmission of Covid-19 virus and is having around twelve hundred cases on a weekly basis.
ln view of sudden spurt of cases being witnessed in Japan,USA,Korea,Brazil & China, it's essential to gear up whole genome sequencing of positive case samples to track variants through Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium(INSACOG)network, writes Union Health Secy to States & UTs pic.twitter.com/k7rxW6Qoin
Bhushan in his letter to the states and Union territories also said that the the need of the moment is to keep an eye on the crucial trends of existing variants.
“Operational Guidelines for Revised Surveillance Strategy in context of Covid- 19 issued by Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare in June, 2022 calls for early detection, isolation, testing, and timely management of suspected and confirmed cases to detect and contain outbreaks of new SARS-CoV-2 variants” Bhushan said. 
India has recorded 112 new coronavirus infections, while the active cases declined to 3,490, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Tuesday.
The death toll stands at 5,30,677 with three fatalities, which includes two deaths reconciled by Kerala and one from Maharashtra in the last 24 hours, the data updated at 8 am stated.
The active cases comprise 0.01 per cent of the total infections, while the national Covid-19 recovery rate increased to 98.80 per cent, the ministry said.
A decrease of 69 cases has been recorded in the active Covid-19 caseload in a span of 24 hours.
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