Omicron Threat: Tripura to start whole-genome sequencing by February 2022

Concerns over the rapid spread of the Omicron form of COVID-19 across the country have led the Tripura government to announce that it will begin whole genome sequencing (WGS) in the state. WGS services will commence in Tripura in February of next year at the Govind Ballabh Pant Hospital (GBPH) in Agartala.Sushanta Chowdhury, a state minister of Tripura, announced the government's decision.

"Detecting Omicron instances requires the use of the WGS. This facility is currently unavailable in Tripura. For genome sequencing, samples are being submitted to the KNIBMS in West Bengal. The Tripura health department, on the other hand, is working to implement this system at the GBP Hospital in Agartala by February next year," Sushanta Chowdhury said.

So yet, no COVID-19 cases of the Omicron variant have been documented in Tripura. Meanwhile, the Tripura government has declared that effective anti-COVID measures will be implemented on January 1 of next year. To control the spread of Omicron, the Centre has urged all states and union territories to tighten monitoring and implement anti-COVID measures.

"Measures including mandatory usage of face masks, washing hands in public places, crowd control, and social distancing rules would be strictly enforced once again in the state from January 1," Tripura minister Sushanta Chowdhury said."These are some of the core COVID-19 protocols that have not been followed in the last six months," Chowdhury added.

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