Friday, June 9, 2023

‘In view of sudden spurt in Covid cases in US, China…’: Govt issues guidelines to states

The Union Health Ministry on Tuesday prepared whole genome sequencing of Covid-19 positive case samples to track the SARS-CoV-2 variant in the country amid a spurt in infections from states and union territories to China, the United States and Japan. asked to do

“In view of the sudden spurt in cases in Japan, the United States, Korea, Brazil and China, whole genome sequencing of positive case samples to track variants through the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) network It is necessary to prepare,” the health ministry said in a letter to the states.

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said such an exercise would enable timely detection of new variants, if any, running in the country and ensure necessary public health measures.

The Union Health Secretary said, “All States are requested to ensure that samples of all positive cases, as far as possible, are sent on a daily basis to the designated INSACOG Genome Sequencing Laboratories (IGSLs), which are and are mapped in the Union Territories.” in the letter.

Bhushan further said that with its focus on the five-fold strategy of Test-Track-Treat-Vaccination and adherence to Covid-appropriate behaviour, India has been able to restrict the transmission of Covid.

There has been a steady decline in the number of Covid cases in India over the last few months.

Just 112 new coronavirus infections were recorded in India on Tuesday, while the active cases dropped to 3,490, according to Union health ministry data.

In the week ending Sunday (December 18), the country recorded just 12 deaths, the lowest since the daily Covid deaths in March 2020. The country recorded zero deaths in three days.

Also, the number of cases detected in India fell to 1,103 during the week – the lowest weekly number since March 23-29, 2020, when the first nationwide lockdown was imposed.

read | China: Omicron may infect 60% of population in next 3 months, epidemiologist estimates

Earlier in the day, NK Arora, chairman of the Covid working group NTAGI, said there is a need to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation in China, which is witnessing a wave of infections, though there is no need to panic. in India. Arora told ANI that the Covid situation in the country was under control as India was “widely immunized with effective vaccines”.

Arora said that another reason behind the low case burden in India could be the fact that many sub-variants of Omicron were not circulating in the country.

“INSACOG data shows that almost all sub-variants of Omicron are found everywhere in the world. There are not many sub-variants that are not circulating here. It is important to keep a close watch on the Chinese situation, but there is no reason to panic There is no need as the situation is under control,” he further said.

Chinese cities are seeing an explosion of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, with concerns that the government is hiding the true number of deaths from the virus.

The development comes as China ended its tough ‘zero-covid’ controls, dropped testing requirements and eased quarantine rules, which has hammered the world’s second-largest economy and sparked large protests against President Xi Jinping. protested on a large scale.

Beijing’s hospitals have been grappling with staff shortages and an influx of patients since the policy U-turn.

Epidemiologist and health economist Eric Feigel-Ding estimated that more than 60 percent of the Chinese population is likely to be infected in the next 90 days.

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