States asked to send adequate number of samples for sequencing: Centre


By NS Desk 06-Sep-2021

New Delhi, Sep 6 (IANS) The Centre on Monday said the states have been repeatedly advised to send adequate numbers of samples for sequencing.

Quoting some media reports alleging that genome sequencing and analysis of Covid-19 has declined sharply in the country, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Affairs said that the sample sequencing by INSACOG has progressively increased.

The sequences analysed in the IGIB SFTP are as per the collection date of samples and does not depict the number of samples sequenced in a particular month. The samples sequenced by labs of INSACOG consortium also depends on the samples sent by the respective States, said the ministry in a statement.

The initial part of sequencing of samples by INSACOG labs was aimed at detecting the Variants of Concern (VOC) among incoming international travellers and also to see whether any person with VOC has entered the country in the past one month from the date of establishment of INSACOG. For the detection of presence of VOC inside the country, 5 per cent of the positives by RT-PCR tests were targetted for sequencing. Both the objectives were achieved by end of January, 2021, said the statement further.

Many states like Maharashtra, Punjab and Delhi started showing rising trends in the month of February. And as a response, the sequencing was enhanced in four districts of Vidarbha, 10 districts of Maharashtra and around 10 districts of Punjab.

In addition to the sentinel sites, there is an option for the states of sending vaccine break-through, reinfection or other unusual presentation samples for sequencing to INSACOG Labs.

Since July onwards, for accurate sharing of sample particulars and timely communication of the WGS results, data for samples for WGS by the sentinel sites is being shared via IHIP portal which ensures real-time sharing of sample particulars and WGS results. Accordingly, 9,066 samples were sent through sentinel sites in July and 6,969 samples were shared in August, added the statement released by the ministry.



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