INSACOG to hold meeting on genome sequencing on Friday

The Indian SARS-CoV-2 Consortium on Genomics (INSACOG) on Friday will hold a virtual meeting. In the meeting, the main focus will be on the Genome sequencing results of international travelers who tested Covid-19 positive.

Meanwhile, INSACOG will release a bulletin next week on different types of variants present in India.

Earlier in November INSACOG issued a bulletin mentioning that XBB BJ.1/ BM.1.1.1 and said, “XBB, a BJ 1/ BM.1.1.1 recombinant lineage with a breakpoint in the spike protein is presently appearing in multiple countries. This recombinant lineage was first detected in Singapore and US and has also been identified in multiple states in India. A sub-lineage of XBB with an additional mutation is also detected (XBB.1).”

The Union Health Ministry on Thursday said, international passengers who will be coming from China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and Thailand have to undergo mandatory RT-PCR tests and from 1 January 2023 they have to update a report on the Air Suvidha portal.

Amid increasing COVID-19 cases this step has been taken by the Union Health Ministry. The Union Health Ministry has warned that India may see a surge in Covid cases in mid-January and the next 40 days will be crucial.

Moreover, at the Chennai airport on Wednesday two passengers tested positive for Covid-19. “Two passengers, who arrived from Dubai, tested positive at the Chennai airport today. Both hail from the Alangudi district of Tamil Nadu’s Pudukkottai. Their test samples have been sent to the State Public Health Laboratory,” the Tamil Nadu Health department stated.

Between 24 December and 26 December, 39 international fliers tested positive for Covid after which random testing of international passengers has been started.

“Passengers of as many as 498 international flights were screened in the last three days — December 24, 25, and 26. A total of 1,780 swab samples were collected for Covid tests. The cumulative number of samples collected (from international fliers), so far, is 3,994. The cumulative number of samples testing positive for Covid is 39 and of samples sent for whole genome sequencing is 39,” a source said.

However, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya personally visited Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital.

“To ensure that there is no Covid surge in the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked us to be careful. The government is also making necessary preparations in anticipation of a rise in Covid infections. Today, mock drills are being conducted across Covid hospitals in the country to ensure people receive proper treatment in the event of a rise in cases,” Mandaviya said.

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