Begin typing your search above and press return to search.
Homechevron_rightIndiachevron_rightOmicron scare: Centre...

Omicron scare: Centre seeks states, UTs samples from COVID hotspots

Omicron scare: Centre seeks states, UTs samples from COVID hotspots

New Delhi: Amid growing concern over the Omicron variant of coronavirus, the Union Health Ministry has directed the states and union territories to send "all positive samples" from COVID-19 hotspots for genome sequencing to designated INSACOG labs, Indian Express reported.

This comes after the Centre said on Monday said no cases of the omicron variant have been detected in the country at present but pointed out that two clusters in Maharashtra and Karnataka are under investigation.

Following this, a high-level review meeting was chaired by Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Tuesday.

In the meeting, the states and UTs were advised to continue monitoring of areas where a recent cluster of positive cases have emerged, an official statement said.

As per an IE report, the health ministry has also advised states and UTs not to let their guard down and keep a strict vigil on the international passengers coming to the country through various airports, ports, and land border crossings and stressed on strict monitoring of hotspots.

They were also asked to send all positive samples for genome sequencing to the designated Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Sequencing Consortium (INSACOG) Lab in a prompt manner, it said.

Earlier, only about five per cent of samples from positive cases detected by RT-PCR tests were sent for genome sequencing.

On Tuesday, the Centre told states to ensure "physical visits" to the homes of passengers from "at-risk" countries to monitor home isolation.

"The status of those who are negative after the retest on the eighth day" will also be "physically monitored by the state administration", it said.

The states have been told that international passengers from "at-risk" countries should be advised to wait at airports till the report comes and "not book connecting flights".

During the meeting, DG, ICMR Dr Balram Bhargava informed the participants that the Omicron variant doesn't escape RT-PCR and RAT and hence, states and UTs were advised to ramp up testing for prompt and early identification of cases.

Meanwhile, the 'Har Ghar Dastak' or door-to-door vaccination campaign against coronavirus disease (Covid-19), launched by the central government earlier this month, will be continued till December 31, news agency ANI reported on Tuesday.

The campaign has been extended with a focus on achieving 100 per cent first-dose Covid-19 vaccination coverage, and also completing the backlog of the second dose, it further said.

Show Full Article
TAGS:Omicron Covid19 updates genome sequencing 
Next Story