Representational picture
Representational picture

BHOPAL: To find out whether the South African or Brazilian strain of the coronavirus has come to Madhya Pradesh, the health department has started sending samples of some patients to the laboratories in Delhi and to the National Institute of Virology, Pune. However, so far, no case of either the South African or the Brazilian strain has been detected in the state. However, for safety’s sake, the health department has started dispatching samples of suspected patients for higher-level testing for which Madhya Pradesh has no facility.

The South African and Brazilian strains of the Covid virus has left the health department high and dry. On the one hand, the inoculation programme is being conducted full swing, and, on the other, new variants have started appearing in the country.

Four people were detected with the South Africa variant of SARS-CoV-2 in India in January, while one tested positive for the Brazil variant in the first week of February. After this, the state health department has gone into alert mode.

According to the health department, even though no case of the South African or Brazilian strain has been found in Madhya Pradesh so far, the health department has enhanced surveillance on the increasing number of corona cases, as a consequence of which samples are being dispatched to Delhi and Pune to check for the newer strains. The health department is constantly monitoring the samples and their results after the new variants were discovered.

Besides, the viral disease is again showing an upward trend in Madhya Pradesh, especially in its industrial hub, Indore, after registering a drop in the number of cases for several weeks. Doctors blame people in the state for lowering their guard against the pandemic and have advised them to adhere strictly to the precautionary guidelines, such as putting on masks and maintaining social distancing.

The Centre has already written to six states — including Madhya Pradesh, which is witnessing a daily surge in the number of Covid-19 cases — directing an increase in the proportion of RT-PCR tests, while ensuring that those testing negative with the Rapid Antigen Test be re-tested with the RT-PCR. The Centre has also asked the states to look into strict, comprehensive surveillance and stringent containment to curb the spread of the virus.

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