Omicron does not escape RT-PCR and RAT, says govt, Health News, ET HealthWorld

Covid-19: Omicron does not escape RT-PCR and RAT, says govtNEW DELHI: The Omicron variant does not escape RT-PCR and rapid antigen testing (RAT), the Centre has underlined while advising states to immediately ramp up testing.

A senior official said 764 samples were genome-sequenced between November 26 and November 30 and no case of the Omicron variant was detected till Tuesday.

Genome sequencing is crucial not only to ascertain whether the new variant has entered the country, but also to identify and analyse its characteristics, behaviour and severity.

The health ministry also advised states to strengthen surveillance. In a review meeting with states and UTs on Tuesday, health secretary Rajesh Bhushan stressed the need to send all positive samples for genome sequencing to INSACOG labs (mapped with states) promptly. He also advised states to undertake aggressive contact tracing of positive individuals and follow up for 14 days.
Testing of samples of international travellers coming from “at risk” countries on the first day and of specified category of passengers on the eighth day needs to be scrupulously done, he said. Passengers from “at risk” countries are being advised to prepare to wait at the airports till their report of the RT-PCR test reports are available.

The Centre also extended the ‘Har Ghar Dastak’ vaccination campaign till December 31 with a focus on 100% first-dose coverage and completing the backlog of second-dose vaccination.Covid-19: Omicron does not escape RT-PCR and RAT, says govt

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