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UP Covid panel suggests random genome sequencing in every city

The state advisory committee for Covid control has recommended genome sequencing of five per cent samples on a random basis in every city.

Updated Jul 06, 2021 08:09 AM

UP Covid panel suggests random genome sequencing in every city

In a plan submitted to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, the panel has said that this is important to stop the spread of Delta Plus variant in the state.

Prof. R.K. Dhiman, director of Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGIMS), who heads the committee, said, "The plan has been submitted as the Delta Plus variant is a variant of concern (VOC). We have recommended genome sequencing of five per cent samples on random basis in every city and also keeping a strict watch on people coming from other states either by flight, train, bus or in their own cars. For that, there is a need to strengthen ground surveillance."

He further said, "The authorities are better prepared to fight the Delta Plus variant as the strategy to counter the third wave is prepared. Once the mutation is detected, then containment zones would be strictly created, where no movement would be allowed in any case. Another step is promoting Covid appropriate behaviour, besides going for aggressive vaccination."

He suggested better coordination among various departments like police, airports, railways, roadways, highways, healthcare workers, doctors, paramedical workers, frontline workers, municipal corporations and various surveillance committees.

Prof. Dhiman said, "Delta virus has three major characteristics. It possesses more infectivity and transmissibility. It also multiplies at double speed and has more virulence capacity. That is why it causes more severe disease. The third characteristic is that it has the capacity to escape natural immunity."

He also said, "Vaccination is still a powerful protection against all the variants, including Delta. But the rapid spread of the variants is still raising concern because of the large number of people who remain unvaccinated.

"If we allow the Delta variant to spread, there would be a greater chance of even more dangerous mutants to evolve. Currently, we know vaccines work against Delta variants, but more mutations could lead to some variants that can evade vaccines. It is more important than ever to get vaccinated now to stop the chain of infection."

The Delta (Plus) is known as mutation variant K417N, it is presumed that it would be more virulent and smarter in escaping immunity than the Delta virus.

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