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No Omicron Case Yet; Centre Asks States To Ramp Up Testing: 10 Points


(*10*)No Omicron Case Yet; Centre Asks States To Ramp Up Testing: 10 Points

New Delhi:
Union Well being Secretary Rajesh Bhushan met with senior state and UT officers Tuesday and urged them to scale up Covid testing charges, as instances of the ‘Omicron’ variant – which the WHO has stated poses a “very excessive” threat – are reported globally.

Listed below are the highest 10 factors on this massive story:

  1. The Omicron pressure – first detected in South Africa final week and in over a dozen international locations since, together with the UK, Germany, Italy, and Hong Kong – has not but been reported in India, authorities officers have been quoted by information company PTI after right now’s assembly.

  2. Omicron doesn’t (at the moment) escape detection from present Covid checks, together with (crucially) the cheaper and sooner antigen checks. States and UTs have been urged scale up testing charges for early identification and administration of instances. They have been additionally requested to reinforce well being infrastructure and residential isolation, in addition to give attention to containment and surveillance, and widening of vaccine protection.

  3. Yesterday, Dr Samiran Panda, who’s Head of Epidemiology on the ICMR (the federal government’s nodal physique within the pandemic), advised wantpassport: “I will not be shocked if there’s detection in India. It is only a matter of time, given the excessive transmissibility that this variant comes with.”

  4. Final week Mr Bhushan wrote to state and UTs to emphasize on rigorous surveillance of worldwide passengers and make sure the immediate dispatch of samples for genome sequencing (to quickly establish strains), in addition to strict enforcement of Covid-appropriate behaviour.

  5. This morning the federal government underlined the significance of that order, and in addition ordered that Covid-positive samples of individuals coming back from ‘in danger’ international locations be despatched to designated genome sequencing labs (a part of the INSACOG community).

  6. Final week Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a evaluate assembly with senior officers (together with Mr Bhushan) and Dr VK Paul, the pinnacle of India’s Covid job power. The Prime Minister requested officers to evaluate plans to ease restrictions on worldwide journey. This was a day after the Aviation Ministry stated scheduled worldwide passenger flights (to and from India) might resume from December 15.

  7. The Prime Minister additionally highlighted the necessity to monitor all worldwide arrivals, and conduct Covid checks with a particular give attention to these arriving from international locations designated as ‘in danger’ – together with these the place Omicron instances have been reported – by the Well being Ministry.

  8. The ‘Omicron’ pressure – earlier recognized as B.1.1.529 and now designated by the World Well being Group’s (WHO) as a ‘variant of concern’ – is believed to have 50 mutations, together with over 30 on the spike protein and 10 on the receptor binding area.

  9. The spike protein is the goal of most present COVID-19 vaccines and is what the virus makes use of to unlock entry to our physique’s cells. Researchers are nonetheless making an attempt to substantiate whether or not this makes it extra transmissible or deadly than earlier variants, and if present vaccines can defend towards the pressure.

  10. The international locations designated as ”at-risk” (up to date as of November 26) embrace European international locations, the UK, South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Israel.

With enter from PTI

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