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India to review Covid-19 situation as cases spike in US, China, Japan

Mansukh Mandaviya is likely to hold a meeting with senior officials and experts on the Covid-19 situation in the country (AFP)

Official sources have said that Minister Mansukh Mandaviya will review the Covid-19 situation at 11:30 am on Wednesday considering the international scenario.

On Tuesday, the Union health ministry, in a letter, asked all states and the Union Territories to speed up the whole genome sequencing of positive Covid-19 samples to keep track of any newer variants of the infection.

In the letter, the Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said such an exercise will enable timely detection of newer variants, if any, circulating in the country. He said the whole genome sequencing will also facilitate the undertaking of requisite public health measures.

With India’s focus on the five-fold strategy of test-track-treat-vaccination and adherence to Covid-appropriate behaviour, the country has been able to restrict the transmission of the infection. With this strategy, India has restricted the Covid-19 cases to 1,200 infections per week.

"In view of the sudden spurt of cases being witnessed in Japan, the United States of America, Republic of Korea, Brazil and China, it is essential to gear up the whole genome sequencing of positive case samples to track the variants through Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) network," he said.

"In this context, 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 Laboratories that are mapped to states and UTs," Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan added.

(With agency inputs)

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