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India Ramps up Genome Sequencing of Covid-19 Samples

NEW DELHI: In view of the threat of looming fourth wave owing to the sudden surge of COVID-19 infections in Japan, the United States of America, the Republic of Korea, Brazil, and China, the Centre on Tuesday wrote to all States and UTs to ramp up their surveillance.

“Covid-19 still persists around the world with around thirty-five lakh cases reported weekly” Union Secretary for Health Rajesh Bhushan sounded alarm on the surging cases of Covid -19 globally. He called for stringent implementation of the Operational Guidelines for Revised Surveillance Strategy in the context of Covid- 19 issued by the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare in June 2022- the five-fold strategy of test track treatment vaccination and adherence to COVID-Appropriate behavior to curb the spread.

The letter stressed ramping up genome sequencing of all COVID-positive samples. Bhushan emphasized that such a move would help early detection of new variants and will facilitate the undertaking of requisite public health measures. He requested the COVID facilities to send the samples to designated INSACOG Genome Sequencing Laboratories that are mapped to the states and UTs.

The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare also commended the consistent hard work put in by all States/UTs and will continue to extend required support to all states in this regard.

According to top epidemiologists, more than 60 percent of China and 10 percent of the world’s population is likely to be infected with COVID-19 over the next 90 days with deaths likely in millions.

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