Omicron: Former Tripura CM Manik Sarkar demands equipment for whole genome sequence

Tripura to reinforce COVID-19 restrictions.

Former Tripura Chief Minister and Leader of the Opposition Manik Sarkar has demanded the immediate setting up of equipment for whole genome sequence (WGS) to detect the Omicron variant of COVID-19 virus. The demand comes after the State Government issued an alert to reinforce restrictions and guidelines from December 29 to prevent the spread of the virus.

State’s Information Minister Sushanta Chowdhury said the decision to enforce restrictions was taken after a health advisory from the Union Government. He said that the WGS facility would be installed at the GBP Hospital here latest by February to detect the Omicron variant.

At present, samples for suspected Omicron cases are being sent to the National Institute of Biological and Molecular Studies in West Bengal’s Kalyani. It takes at least a week to get a test report.

Mr. Sarkar, however, demanded immediate installation of the WGS facility as “Omicron has already posed a global threat”. “We have to be very careful as 4 lakh 20 thousand adult citizens of the State are yet to receive a second dose of vaccine,” he told mediapersons.

There “should not be repetition of laxity in measures” to check the pandemic, he said.

Meanwhile, health officials said the State with a population of a little over 3.5 million recorded 85,003 COVID-19 cases till Saturday. So far, 826 infected people have died.

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