New Delhi [India], December 30 (ANI): With rising cases of COVID-19 new Omicron variant in the country, the top health experts are emphasizing accelerating genome sequencing to detect Omicron variant.
Health experts said that the proper data can be available through genome sequencing that will help in understanding the upcoming trend scientifically.
Genome sequencing figures out the order of DNA nucleotides or bases in a genome–the order of As, Cs, Gs, and Ts that make up an organism’s DNA.
It is often compared to “decoding,” but a sequence is still very much in code. In a sense, a genome sequence is simply a very long string of letters in a mysterious language.
Dr DS Rana, Chairman, Department of Nephrology, Ganga Ram Hospital said, “One can identify the variant only through genome sequencing.”
“We have got only six patients and the genome sequencing has shown only two have omicron and four have Delta variant. The data available from all over the world says that this variant is milder in nature,” Dr Rana said.
To detect the dominant strain scientifically especially in the scenario where the new mutant is establishing itself in a region, Dr. Sandeep Budhiraja, Group Medical Director of Max Healthcare and Senior Director, Institute of Internal Medicine said, “It is the time when genomic sequencing becomes extremely critical.”
“It is important because Omicron compared to Delta is many folds more infectious but less severe,” Dr Budhiraja said.
“We will see more people coming with fever, mild symptoms and asymptomatic but the severity will be less,” he said.
“Testing, tracking, and isolating people is very important. I stress not only on RT-PCR but a mandatory genomic sequencing testing also,” Dr said.
Dr Sanjay Rai, the Senior epidemiologist at AIIMS, told ANI that “Genome sequencing is crucial at the initial stage of Omicron because it will help in identifying which variant is circulating currently.”
“If it comes through random sequencing that 100 per cent is of one particular variant we will act accordingly. To know the present percentage of Omicron genome sequencing is instrumental,” Rai said.
There are 961 cases of COVID-19 Omicron variant in India, out of which 320 patients have recovered, Union Health Ministry briefed.
Luv Aggarwal, Joint Secretary, Union Health Ministry stated that there are a total of 58 deaths due to Omicron across the globe.
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