‘No Plans For Mass Testing’, Says Maharashtra Health Secy Amid China’s Covid-19 Surge

Amid a surge in China’s Covid-19 cases, Maharashtra’s Health Secretary Sanjay Khandare on Wednesday said that they will send all positive samples for genome sequencing to Pune and Mumbai labs as per the Union Health Ministry’s advisory. Khandare also said that there are no plans for mass testing as of now and are waiting for further instructions from the Central government on the issue.

“As per Union Health Ministry’s advisory, we’ll send all samples for genome sequencing to Pune and Mumbai labs. Currently, we’re having around 100 positive cases daily in state so we’ll go for genome sequencing of all the positive samples,” Khandare told ANI.

He added that “on the issue of starting random COVID testing at railway stations, airports etc, we have no plans as of now. We are waiting for further instructions from the Central govt on the issue.”

Khandare further stated that Maharashtra’s covid norms will be decided based on genome sequencing results and the Central government’s instructions. “Based on genome sequencing result and Central govt’s instructions, we will decide Maharashtra’s covid norms. No plans for mass testing as of now. Our health infrastructure is in place and we will activate all COVID-related medical setups if required,” he added. 

Meanwhile, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya today chaired a meeting with senior officials and experts on the Covid-19 situation in the country.

ICMR Head of Virology Nivedita Gupta, NTAGI head NK Arora, Member Health Niti Ayog VK Paul, and members from NCDC and DBT attended the meeting.

Health ministry secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Tuesday wrote to all states and Union Territories to ramp up the whole genome sequencing of positive case samples to keep track of any newer variants of the infection.

“ln view of the sudden spurt of cases being witnessed in Japan, the United States of America, Republic of Korea, Brazil and China, it is essential to gear up the whole genome sequencing of positive case samples to track the variants through…INSACOG network,” he said in a letter.

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