Sequencing the genome of every sample impossible, Center explains why


Amid concerns over the growing number of Omicron COVID cases in the country, the Center said on Friday that genome sequencing of every sample is not possible.

Explaining the constraints, Dr VK Paul, NITI Aayog Health Member, said: “This is a pandemic surveillance and assessment and tracking tool, not a diagnostic tool at this time. We can ensure that sufficient systematic sampling is carried out. “

Paul was addressing the media regarding the COVID-19 situation in the country.

Indian Council of Medical Research Director General Dr Balram Bhargava, who was also present at the press conference, provided an update on the COVID-19 antiviral pills.

“We have found that these pills must be administered very early, even before the disease is diagnosed. The science is still not sufficiently substantiated for the pills to be useful at this time. “

Meanwhile, the Center has further informed that up to 101 cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 have so far been detected in 11 states and Union territories. 32 cases have been reported in Maharashtra, 22 in Delhi, 17 in Rajasthan, 8 each in Karnataka and Telangana, 5 each in Gujarat and Kerala, one each in Andhra Pradesh, Chandigarh, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal respectively .

Addressing the press conference, Ministry of Health co-secretary Lav Agarwal said, “The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that Omicron spreads faster than the Delta variant in South Africa where Delta traffic was low. It is likely that Omicron will precede the Delta variant where community transmission occurs, the WHO added. “

A new variant of COVID-19 was first reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) from South Africa on November 25. According to the WHO, the first known confirmed infection with B.1.1.529 came from a sample taken on November 9 of this year. .

On November 26, WHO named the new variant of COVID-19 B.1.1.529, which has been detected in South Africa, “Omicron”. WHO has classified Omicron as a “variant of concern”.

(With contributions from agencies)

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