With the sudden spurt of COVID-19 cases in several countries, the Arunachal Pradesh government has directed district health authorities to ensure genome sequencing of samples testing positive for the virus, an official said here on Wednesday.
“We will continue with testing and any sample testing positive for Coronavirus will be sent for genome sequencing as instructed by the Union Health Ministry for timely detection of newer variants,” State Surveillance Officer (SSO) Dr Lobsang Jampa said.
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan in a letter to all the states and Union territories on Tuesday directed for ensuring that as far as possible samples of all positive cases, on a daily basis, are sent to the designated Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) network, Genome Sequencing Laboratories (IGSLs) that are mapped to the states and UTs.
Japan, USA, Republic of Korea, Brazil and China have witnessed a sudden spurt in COVID-19 cases.
Jampa said that the state now has only one Coronavirus case that was detected through Rapid Antigen Test (RAT).
“We will have to reactivate our RT-PCR laboratory and if any sample tests positive for the virus, it will be sent for genome sequencing. “Testing is regularly going on in low scale. We will intensify it after getting necessary instructions from the Centre. We have written to all the district health authorities to be on alert,” Jampa said. It would be too early to go for stringent measures, the SSO said. Arunachal Pradesh reported 66,890 COVID-19 cases, while 296 people succumbed to the infection in the northeastern state.