The Centre has asked States and Union Territories to increase genome sequencing of positive samples amid a rise in COVID cases in China, Japan, the United States, Korea and Brazil. Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan has written a letter to all the Chief Secretaries and Secretaries of Health of States and UTs. Mr. Bhushan said, this will enable the timely detection of newer variants, if any, circulating in the country. He said this will also facilitate the undertaking of requisite public health measures.
He requested all the States to ensure that as far as possible samples of all positive cases, on a daily basis, are sent to the designated Genome Sequencing Laboratories. The Secretary said, India with its focus on the five-fold strategy of testing, tracking, treating, vaccinating, and adherence COVID appropriate behaviour has been able to restrict the transmission of the COVID-19 virus. He said, public health challenges of COVID- 19 still persist around the world with around 35 lakh cases reported weekly. In India, around 1200 cases are being reported on a weekly basis.