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In view of rising Covid cases across the globe, Centre tells states to ramp up genome sequencing | India News

NEW DELHI: The Centre on Tuesday directed states to ramp up genome sequencing as the sudden surge in Covid cases in China, Japan, US, Korea and Brazil pose a threat of looming fourth wave of the pandemic.
In a notice to the states, union secretary for health Rajesh Bhushan sounded the alarm on rising cases: “Public health challenge of Covid-19 still persists around the world with around 35 lakh cases reported weekly,” he said.
Bhushan reiterated that genome sequencing would help early detection of new variants and would facilitate undertaking of requisite public health measures.
“In view of sudden spurt of cases being witnessed in China and other nations, it is essential to gear up whole genome sequencing of positive case samples to track variants through Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium(INSACOG)network,” he said, adding: “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 that are mapped to the states and UTs.”
“Operational guidelines for revised surveillance strategy in context of Covid- 19 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,” said the health secretary.
Bhushan added that India, through 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 recording 1,200 cases on a weekly basis.
The need of the moment is to keep an eye on the crucial trends of existing variants, said Bhushan.
India recorded 112 new infections on Tuesday. The death toll stands at 5,30,677. Active cases have declined to 3,490 and comprise 0.01% of the total infections, while the national Covid-19 recovery rate increased to 98.8%, the health ministry said.
(with inputs from agencies)

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