Delta Plus variant: UP to conduct genome sequencing

UP to do genome sequencing of Covid test samples of passengers from states with Delta Plus

CM asked the state’s health authorities to start genome sequencing of RT-PCR samples

A health worker takes samples for Covid-19 testing at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, in Lucknow. Credit: PTI Photo

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Friday put the Uttar Pradesh health authorities on alert against the emergence of new coronavirus variant Delta-Plus detected in some parts of the country.

In a bid to shield UP from the onslaught of the new variant, the chief minister has asked the state’s health authorities to start genome sequencing of RT-PCR samples of train, air or road passengers coming to UP from states where delta-Plus variant has been detected.

Acting on the recommendations of the state's health experts' advisory panel, the chief minister also ordered the collection of samples from the UP districts bordering the states where cases of delta-Plus variant have been detected and get their genome sequencing done in UP itself.

"For delta-Plus variant, genome sequencing of more and more samples should be done. Genome sequencing of those coming from railway, bus and air route should also be done,” Additional Chief Secretary (Information) Navneet Sehgal said in an official statement.

Also read: Tirupati reports first case of Delta Plus Covid-19 variant in Andhra Pradesh

The statement said the samples should also be taken from districts bordering states where the virus’ delta-Plus variant was detected and as per results of the tests, mapping of delta Plus variant should be done, Sehgal said.

“This will help in taking preventive measures from this new variant," he said in the statement, adding the chief minister gave the directions after chairing a high-level meeting to take stock of the Covid situation in the state and the emerging threat from its delta-Plus variant.

The chief minister also asked the Health Department to expedite the process of setting up ICUs for children, including the newborn ones, across the state, amid the fears that a possible third wave will affect children more.

The chief minister gave the directions following the strategy, chalked out by the state-level health experts’ advisory panel, which has also recommended a high level of public awareness about the threats from the new as well as existing variants of the virus.

The chief minister also ordered upgrading the facilities and infrastructure at the KGMU, Lucknow or BHU Medical College and Hospital, Varanasi, which too have begun genome sequencing. Till now samples were being sent to Pune for genome-sequencing but now with the start of the high-end investigation in the state itself, they will not have to be sent outside the state, the statement said.

Also read: India has 48 cases of Delta Plus Covid-19 variant

The state government will also conduct door-to-door distribution of 'special medicine kits' with syrups and chewable tablets for children showing influenza-like symptoms of cold and cough, the statement said. It added that the distribution of the medicine kits for children will be undertaken by over four lakh members of 60,569 surveillance committees in rural areas from June 27, the CM said.

“Everyone must follow the Covid-19 protocols and ensure 100 per cent usage of double masks, sanitisers along with social distancing and maintenance of personal hygiene,” the CM said. He mentioned that the five-fold strategy of “Tracing, Testing, Treatment, Covid-appropriate behaviour and Vaccination (TTT-CV) implemented with utmost seriousness will be effective in curbing any further spread.

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