Focus on aggressive genome sequencing: Centre to states amid Covid surge in Europe

by NewsWire
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The Centre has asked states and Union Territories to focus on aggressive and sustained genome sequencing and intensified surveillance besides being vigilant on the Covid-19 situation in the country.

In a letter to the states and UTs, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said: “With a resurgence observed in Covid-19 cases across Southeast Asia and some countries of Europe, a high-level meeting was chaired by Health Minister on March 16, 2022 wherein it was advised that states and UTs should focus on aggressive and sustained genome sequencing and intensified surveillance and keep an overall vigil on the Covid-19 situation”.

Bhushan has asked states that there should be a continued focus on the five-fold strategy, Test-Track-Treat-Vaccination and adherence to Covid Appropriate Behaviour.

States should also ensure that adequate number of samples are submitted to INSACOG network through Sentinel sites as per the protocol issued by National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), which is the Nodal Agency for INSACOG, to ensure timely detection of new variants while maintaining adequate testing as per the protocols for testing laid by ICMR, the letter reads further.

“Effective surveillance by monitoring of emerging clusters of new cases, if any, testing as per norms and monitoring of ILI & SARI cases shall be taken up on a continued basis to ensure that no early warning signals are missed and spread of infection can be controlled”, said Bhushan in the letter.

The Centre has also asked stated to ensure that all eligible persons are motivated to get vaccinated against Covid-19 as per the recent expansion of vaccination drive to young adults and precautionary doses for adults besides the completion of doses for all adults.

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