India to Revise Genome Sequencing Strategy to Gauge Severity of Omicron Variant in Population

A top official from the union health ministry has indicated that there has been an increasing trend in Covid-19 hospitalisations across the country as overall cases continue to rise. Therefore, a decision has been taken to sequence the genomes of all the patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) due to the infection and of those who have died because of the virus, in order to determine the possibility of Omicron as the cause of severity and fatality.

The objective is to calculate the severity index of the fast-spreading variant in the Indian population.

The Centre has asked all states to send samples for genomic sequencing from both private and government-run hospitals, as per top officials.

The decision can provide conclusive evidence on the severity of the disease due to the Omicron variant within a week, an official added.

In analysing the genome sequence of the positive cases in a community setup, it has been found that Omicron has spread significantly in the population. The prevalence of the variant in metropolitans is between 90 and 95%.

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