India on alert mode over Covid-19 situation

India on alert mode over Covid-19 situation

India’s federal health ministry called the Ministry of Health and Family welfare has instructed state authorities to step up genome sequencing of Covid cases in view of a “sudden spurt” in cases in China and other countries as well.

Official notification:

The ministry of Health and Family welfare issued a notification in which it has said that it is “essential to gear up the whole genome sequencing of positive case samples” in order for tracking any new variants.

In this context, all states are asked to ensure that as far as possible samples of all positive cases are sent to nationally designated genome sequencing laboratories on a daily basis.

Health secretary Rajesh Bhushan notified to all states and union territories to ramp up genome sequencing and have been asked to send all Covid positive samples, on a daily basis, are sent to the designated INSACOG Genome Sequencing Laboratories (IGSLs).

What is Genome sequencing?

A laboratory method which is applied to determine the entire genetic makeup of a specific organism or cell type is called genome sequencing.

This method is mostly used to find changes in areas of the genome. Genome sequencing can be used to identify and track Covid variants.

Why India alerted over Covid?

As per the instruction given by the Ministry of Health and Family welfare it had been a “sudden spurt” in cases not just in China but also in Japan, the United States, South Korea and Brazil.

Cases are surging across China, with crematoriums and hospitals struggling to cope in the wake of the government’s sudden decision to lift years of lockdowns, quarantines and mass testing.

The United States has also warned the outbreak is now of concern to the rest of the world, given the potential for further virus mutations and the size of China.

India, which suffered badly at the height of the pandemic, has not so far reported any significant rise in cases.

Question & Answer:

Q1. What is the main reason for India to gear up its genome sequencing?

Ans. Sudden spurt in cases of Covid-19 virus in China, USA, Brazil and South Korea

Q2. Who is the Union minister of Health and Family Welfare?

Ans. Mansukh Mandaviya

Q3. What is INSACOG- Indian SARS-CoV-2 Consortium on Genemics?

Ans. It is the forum established by GOI to monitor and research on genome sequencing and virus variation of circulating strains of Covid-19 in India

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