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RT-PCR captures all variants of Covid: Government | India News


NEW DELHI: Amid concerns that RT-PCR may be failing to detect SARS-CoV-2 variants, the Center said Friday that the test “does not miss” variants found in the country until now.
The Covid-19 virus has been mutating and various mutations have been found in many countries as well as India. These include variants from the UK (17 mutations), Brazil (17 mutations), and South Africa (12 mutations). These variants have a higher transmissibility. The UK variant has been found widely in the UK, throughout Europe, and has spread to Asia and the Americas.
However, the Center expressed concern that several states did not submit samples for genome sequencing along with clinical data from positive individuals, despite being advised to do so.
The double mutation (two mutations) is another variant and has been found in several countries such as Australia, Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Namibia, New Zealand, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United States. “Greater transmissibility of this variant has not yet been established,” the government said.
“The RT-PCR tests used in India do not miss these mutations, as the RT-PCR tests used in India target more than two genes,” he added. He also said that the sensitivity and specificity of RT-PCR tests remain the same as before.
The clinical data from the positive people will allow a great epidemiological understanding of the link of the surge in various places with the variants, as well as allow to discover other variants of concern, if they are present in the community, the government said.
“Many states, including Maharashtra, MP, Rajasthan and Kerala, have not yet shared the data with NCDC, although Punjab and Delhi have shared such data,” the Health Ministry said in a statement.
As of Thursday, 13,614 whole genome sequencing samples were processed in the 10 INSACOG-designated laboratories. Of these, 1,189 samples tested positive for worrisome variants of SARS-CoV-2 in India. This included 1,109 samples with UK variants, 79 samples with South African variants, and one sample with the Brazilian variant.
“Detecting these mutations does not change the management strategy that remains to be tested, traced, traced and treated. The use of masks remains the most important shield to prevent the spread of Covid 19,” the ministry said.
The India SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) is a network of 10 laboratories. The network was created in December to continuously monitor SARS-CoV-2 genomic changes in India through whole genome sequencing.
New daily cases in the country are increasing rapidly with 2,17,353 new cases registered on Thursday. Ten states, including Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and West Bengal, accounted for 79.1% of new cases.
Maharashtra reported the highest number of new cases daily with 61,695. Uttar Pradesh followed with 22,339, while Delhi reported 16,699 new cases.

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