Photo used for indicative purpose only. Source: Internet
Shimla, Jun 3
The Genomic Surveillance and Genome Sequencing of Covid positive cases presented an alarming picture in the state as 56 per cent Covid cases were found infected with double, UK and other mutants.
The report submitted to state Health department by the National Communicable Disease Centre Delhi made public by the department here on late Wednesday stated that around 11 pc samples were found infected with the highly infectious double variant,  17 percent were found infected with various type of Mutants and 27 per cents were detected infected with UK variants.
Spokesperson of state Health department confirmed in a statement issued here last night that out of eight RTPCR labs of the state as many as 876 samples were sent to NCDC Delhi.
The Genome sequencing of 146 samples have been done to keep surveillance on the type of
Corona Variants confirmed around 82 samples were infected with various types of mutants of
Sars Corona Virus-2.
Genome sequencing of 64 samples did not confirm any mutation. Out of 146 samples 40 samples were found infected UK strain, 16 with double mutation strain and 25 exhibited some mutation of interest.
One sample has been rejected by the NCDC for nCoV.
The report of rest 730 samples is awaited from the NCDC, spokesperson said that it is in regular touch with the centre expecting to receive its report shortly.
SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) with ten regional genome sequencing labs (RGSLs) spread across the country were designated for viral genome sequencing.
There have been mutations in the Covid-19 virus over the past year or so and these labs have been disignated to various states for the purpose of study of the variants of the virus which were infecting people, NCDC is declared designated lab for Himachal.
Two type of surveillance of virus strains are being carried out by the NCDC and other labs as the first one include sentinel approach in which  Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) being done
 of the samples collected from tertiary care health facility. The samples collected along with CT scan report among the severe illness or prolonged admission, suspected reinfection, suspected vaccination failure and any other special cases
The 2nd type special surveillance, sampling is being done for NCDC of collected samples to confirm  WGS information  from the community by targeting events like clustering of cases, super spreader events and clustering of cases in  institutions.
District Surveillance Officer being asked to submit such samples for genome sequencing
immediately on the priority where patients are being reinfected or infected after having 2nd
dose of vaccination irrespective of period after the dose.
The genome sequencing and confirmation of double and highly infectious mutants would help the state administration to charter the course of SoPs and decide about the lifting or continuing the Corona restrictions.
Moreover the alarming death rate of 1.66 per cent of the Covid cases compared to 1.2 p c of the national average indicates that threat of Double strains and UK strains are more prevalent in the hill state need special precautions.


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