The Centre has asked states and union territories to increase genome sequencing of positive samples amid a rise in COVID cases in China, Japan, the United States, Korea, and Brazil.
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan has written a letter to all the states and union territories. The letter states that samples of all positive cases should be sent for genome sequencing, so that new variants of corona can be detected. Bhushan said, “this will enable the timely detection of newer variants, if any, circulating in the country. This will also facilitate the undertaking of requisite public health measures.”
In view of the recent rising cases of COVID19 in some countries, Union Health Ministry has requested States/UTs to send samples of all #COVID19 positive cases to INSACOG labs to track new variants, if any.
Health Ministry and INSACOG are keeping a sharp watch on the situation. pic.twitter.com/ODLTkFwsdH
— Ministry of Health (@MoHFW_INDIA) December 20, 2022
He requested all the States to ensure that as far as possible samples of all positive cases, on a daily basis, are sent to the designated Genome Sequencing Laboratories.
The Secretary said, India with its focus on the five-fold strategy of testing, tracking, treating, vaccinating, and adherence to COVID appropriate behaviour has been able to restrict the transmission of the COVID-19 virus.
He said, public health challenges of COVID-19 still persist around the world with around 35 lakh cases reported weekly. In India, around 1200 cases are reported on a weekly basis.
On the other hand, Union Health Minister Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya will hold a meeting with officials and experts on the status of COVID-19 in the country on Wednesday.
While COVID cases have increased worldwide, the number of active cases in India is decreasing rapidly. According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare , Government of India, as of 8 am on December 20, there were a total of 3 thousand 490 active cases in the country, which is the lowest since March 2020.
The Health Minister had told Parliament on December 19 that the number of vaccinations in India has crossed 220 crores. This number includes the first, second and precaution dose of all available corona vaccines. The world’s largest vaccination campaign was started on 18 January 2021 in the country.