Odisha Gears Up For Surveillance & WGS Amid Spurt In COVID Cases Abroad & Detection Of BF.7 Variant

Bhubaneswar: Amid a spurt in COVID cases in several countries and the detection of the new variant BF.7 in Odisha, the state government on Wednesday geared up for disease surveillance and genome sequencing to deal with another possible encounter with the deadly virus.

In a communication to all district collectors, hospitals and health officials, Health and Family Welfare Secretary Shalini Pandit said there is a rise in COVID cases in China, Japan, USA, Korea and Brazil.

Therefore, India is put on alert mode to follow the operational guidelines for revised surveillance strategy in context of COVID-19.

In view of sudden spurt of cases being witnessed in several countries, it is essential to gear up the disease surveillance and WGS of positive case samples to track the variant through Indian SARS CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) network, she said.

Further testing, tracking, treating, contact tracing, vaccination and COVID-19 appropriate behavior needs to be followed scrupulously to enable timely detection of newer variant and facilitated for immediate containment measures, Pandit said.

The samples of positive cases to be sent on daily basis to the nearest INSACOG lab, RMRC and ILS in Bhubaneswar, she said, adding that cluster containment measures to be initiated immediately as per the protocol and guideline of the Central government.

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