Maharashtra Health Secretary Sanjay Khandare on Wednesday said that they will be sending all COVID-19 positive samples to laboratories in Mumbai and Pune.
Khandare's statement came a day after the Union Health Ministry issued an advisory for states and union territories to track variants through Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) network. The advisory was issued amid sudden spurt in COVID cases.
Khandare said, "As per Union Health Ministry's advisory, we'll send all samples for genome sequencing to Pune and Mumbai labs. Currently, we're having around 100 positive cases daily in state so we'll go for genome sequencing of all the positive samples."
Speaking on the issue of starting random COVID testing, Khandare aded, "We have no plans as of now. We are waiting for further instructions from the Union government on the issue."
"Based on genome sequencing result and Central government's instructions, we will decide Maharashtra's COVID norms. No plans for mass testing as of now. Our health infrastructure is in place and we will activate all COVID-related medical setups if required," Khandare added.
Union government's advisory
Amid the recent spurt of COVID-19 infections in countries including China, the Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan wrote to the states and Union territories. The health authorities have been asked to gear up whole genome sequencing of positive case samples to track variants through Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) network.
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