mid a sudden surge in Covid-19 cases, the Centre on Wednesday asked states and Union Territories to ensure a random RT-PCR screening of about two per cent passengers in each incoming flight. It also directed them to send all positive specimens for genomic sequencing. India has been reporting more than 10,000 Covid-19 cases everyday over the past few days.
Surveillance of incoming international travelers including a random screening of 2% of passengers in each incoming flight into India by RT-PCR. All positive specimens be sent for genome sequencing and such passengers be advised isolation and clinically managed as per prevailing guidelines. All healthcare facilities should report influenza like illness cases and District Surveillance Officer (DSO) will be responsible to analyze the data. Five per cent of influenza like illness (ILI) cases shall be tested through RT-PCR, Centre’s new guidelines suggest. Health facilities ensure monitoring of Severe Acute Respiratory Illness cases in all district hospitals and selected tertiary hospitals and undertake RT-PCR test. State IDSP shall share this data on a fortnightly basis and the lab testing for Covid-19 should upload their data on Indian Council for Medical Research portal. Community-based surveillance for early detection of unusual events in the community like large outbreaks, unusual clinical presentation of cases, mortality. Three-pronged genomic surveillance strategy should be implemented by states and Union Territories. Positive samples from large clusters or outbreaks in the community and unusual events should also be sent for whole-genome sequencing. Revised surveillance guidelines also call for sewage and wastewater surveillance which may provide early warnings on the potential local surge of cases.