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regular-article-logo Friday, 14 June 2024

Delhi government to send Covid samples for RT-PCR test, genome sequencing

India on December 21 recorded 594 fresh COVID-19 infections, which took the number of active cases from 2,311 the previous day, to 2,669, according to Union health ministry data

PTI New Delhi Published 22.12.23, 12:20 PM
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The Delhi health department has ordered authorities to send an "adequate" number of Covid samples for RT-PCR test amid an uptick in coronavirus cases, officials said on Thursday.

The department has also ordered them to conduct the genome sequencing of Covid-positive RT-PCR samples, they said.

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India on Thursday recorded 594 fresh COVID-19 infections, which took the number of active cases from 2,311 the previous day, to 2,669, according to Union health ministry data.

A meeting was convened by the Delhi Health Minister to review the preparedness of health facilities to tackle ILI/SARI (influenza-like illness/severe acute respiratory infections) on Wednesday, officials said.

"Adequate number of Covid samples are to be sent for RT-PCR testing, as per guidelines. Genome sequencing of positive RT-PCR samples is to be performed, as per guidelines. And, measures are to be taken for raising community awareness for avoiding overcrowded and poorly ventilated settings, and wearing masks in crowded and close settings and in hospital premises," an official said.

The data on COVID-19 testing is presently being maintained by the Indian Council of Medical Research, which has been requested by the Delhi government to share it, the person said.

On Tuesday, the number of RT-PCR tests done in Kerala and Karnataka was 537 and 487, with positivity rate 20.75 per cent and 2.41 per cent, respectively, they said.

In Delhi, the number of RT-PCR tests done and positivity on the same day was 208 and 0.48 per cent.

Officials also said that in view of the surge in cases of respiratory illness in China, including pneumonia in children, last month, Delhi Health Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj had had a meeting with experts on respiratory medicine on November 30.

"After detailed discussions, it was decided that the experts would develop an SOP regarding the number and types of samples to be tested by multiplex PCR in culture negative, severe pneumonia cases and to maintain adequate stock of anti-viral drugs," a senior official said.

Mock drills were conducted at all the Delhi government hospitals during December 13-17 to assess the preparedness on various parameters such as bed capacity, available human resources, human resource capacity, referral services, testing capacities, logistics, availability of medical oxygen, etc, he said.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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