Indian govt asks states to ramp up genome sequencing amid global rise in COVID-19 cases

India’s federal government has asked its states to increase genome sequencing of positive samples amid a rise in COVID-19 cases in different countries, officials said Wednesday, reports Xinhua.

“It’s essential to gear up whole genome sequencing of positive case samples to track variants through Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) network,” read a letter issued by India’s federal health ministry to the states on Tuesday late evening.

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

The letter asks all states to ensure that samples of all positive cases, on a daily basis, are sent to the designated INSACOG Genome Sequencing Laboratories that are mapped to them as far as possible.

India has pursued a five-fold strategy of testing, tracking, treating and vaccinating to monitor and control the spread of COVID-19 virus in the country.

“Public health challenge of COVID-19 still persists around the world with around 3.5 million cases reported weekly,” the letter further reads.

In India, about 1,200 cases are being reported on a weekly basis, officials said.

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