Indore: In the wake of a spike in daily COVID-19 cases in Indore, the district administration has sent samples of infected persons to labs in New Delhi and Pune for genome sequencing, a health official said on Wednesday.
This has been done to ascertain whether there is a new strain of SARS-CoV-2 here on not, Indore's nodal officer for COVID-19prevention, Amit Malakar, told reporters.
Indore, which is Madhya Pradesh's industrial hub and has a population of around 35 lakh, has been the worst hit by COVID-19 in the state.
The number of COVID-19 cases here had come down earlier this year, but since the last one week, the district has been reporting more than 100 cases on a daily basis, according to official data.
"We have sent samples of 100 COVID-19 patients to the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in Delhi for genome sequencing. Some samples of infected persons have also been sent to the Pune-based National Institute of Virology (NIV)," the official said.
After getting reports of these samples, it will be known whether any new strain of the coronavirus is active in the district or not, he said.
"The rise in COVID-19 cases in the district in recent times is due to lack of public awareness. Besides, the current seasonal changes also cause spread of any infectious viral disease," Malakar said.
He said around 3,000 beds are currently available in 46 hospitals in the district for COVID-19 patients, and the capacity can be increased to 4,500 beds if needed.
"In view of the surge in COVID-19 cases, we have alerted the managements of government and private hospitals here to be fully prepared to deal with any situation," the official said.
From March 24, 2020 to February 23 this year, the district has reported a total of 59,101 COVID-19 cases.
These also include 931 fatalities due to the disease, as per official figures.