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Centre asks States to up surveillance amid rise in Covid-19 cases in China

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The Centre on Tuesday asked State governments to step up vigilance and monitoring of Covid cases. It also asked States to come ahead and provide data and samples to INSACoG labs for genome sequencing of variants of the virus on a daily basis.

The alert comes on the back of China, Japan, the United States of America and Korea witnessing and reporting a significant jump in Covid cases. Union Health Mansukh Mandaviya will also hold a review meeting tomorrow, sources said.

India has been reporting an average of 1,200 Covid cases a week, while globally there are around 35 lakh cases on a weekly basis. “ln view of the sudden spurt of cases being witnessed in Japan, United States of America, Republic of Korea, Brazil and China, it essential to gear up the whole genome sequencing of positive case samples to track the variants through lndian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACoG) network,” the letter by Rajesh Bhushan, Union Health Secretary, addressed to Chief Secretaries and Principal Secretaries across State governments, said.

“Such an exercise will enable timely detection of newer variants, if any, circulating in the country and will facilitate undertaking of requisite public health measures for the same,” it added.

Bhushan in his letter pointed out that the operational guidelines for revised surveillance strategy in the context of Covid -19 issued by the Union Health Ministry 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.

“Therefore, monitoring the trends of existing variants is of crucial importance,” the letter said.“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 (lGSLs) that are mapped to the States and UTs.”



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