Send sewage samples to poliovirus sentinel sites: Centre to states

To detect a new version of the unique virus, the Centre has expressly instructed the states to use a two-pronged strategy.

With the prospect of a new Covid-19 variation causing a new increase in cases, the Centre has instructed states to transmit sewage samples to all poliovirus surveillance sentinel locations.

Even while a few urban centers across the country have seen an uptick in Covid-19 instances, this is one of the primary measures that were communicated to the states last week.

The number of current cases in India is 11,558. While the country's weekly optimism rate is 0.27 percent, Delhi's positivity rate on Saturday was 5.33 percent. The Centre told the states that "there was no cause for concern" because the bulk of cases was still connected to the highly transmissible Omicron BA.2, which caused the third outbreak.

To detect a new version of the unique virus, the Centre has expressly instructed the states to use a two-pronged strategy. The states were informed that all tertiary and secondary care hospitals should have specialized influenza-like illness (ILI) and severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) clinics.

"It should be similar to an emergency room where folks with influenza-like symptoms can go right away." "States have been instructed to do 100% RT-PCR testing and send the samples for genome sequencing so that we can see if and where a new variant is forming," according to sources.

Second, states have been advised that the National Center for Disease Control will be the coordinating agency for any variant found, according to sources.

Sewage surveillance aids in the detection of new variants and the spread of Covid-19 in the community. Local health authorities can detect early warning signs of the establishment of new clusters by detecting virus levels in untreated water over time. Currently, governments like Karnataka are doing sewage surveillance.

"We told them that sentinel locations are the same as polio sentinel sites." We've been collecting sewage water samples for years to see if there's any wild polio in India. These locations will now be used to monitor Covid-19. The surveillance will be carried out by more than 60 sites, according to insiders.

For example, if five students have tested positive, there is no need to close the entire school," governments were reportedly instructed.

The Center advised states to inform parents that if their child has flu or influenza symptoms, they should not send them to school and should not be submitted to an RT-PCR test. "We've also advised the states to inform school administrators that if faculty or students are diagnosed with flu, influenza, or respiratory symptoms, they should be sent home." However, there is no need to close the entire school, according to sources.