In light of the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in China, Japan, the USA, Korea and Brazil, the Union Health Secretary has written to states and union territories to gear up the whole genome sequencing of positive case samples to track variants through Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) network.
"All states are requested to ensure that as far as possible, samples of all positive cases, on a daily basis, are sent to the designated INSACOG Genome Sequencing Laboratories (IGSLs) that are mapped to the states and UTs," Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan wrote.
He stated that India has been able to restrict COVID-19 with its focus on the five-fold strategy of test-track-treat-vaccination and adherence to COVID-19-appropriate behaviour.
"Public Health challenge of COVID-19 still persists around the world with around 35 lakh cases reported weekly," Bhushan added.
According to Union Health Ministry's update on Tuesday, India recorded 112 new covid infections, while the active cases declined to 3,490. The coronavirus tally stood at 4.46 crore (4,46,76,199).
With three fatalities, the death toll reached 5,30,677. The number of people who have recovered from the disease surged to 4,41,42,032
India crossed the 20-lakh COVID cases mark on August 7, 2020 - 50 lakh - on September 16 and one crore mark on December 19. The grim milestone of two crore cases were reached on May 4 and three crore on June 23, 2021. The four crore mark was crossed on January 25 this year.
COVID-19 cases are growing rapidly in China with reports suggesting that hospitals are overwhelmed due to rising infections. Crematoriums are also overburdened. No official confirmation has been given by China regarding this. Other countries have also reported a spurt in COVID-19 infections.