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‘To control Omicron, need cohesive data on Genomes, clinical signs, Geography’

Across the world, it is very difficult to find genomic, clinical and metadata on variants of Covid-19 in a cohesive manner. “Hence, we get a piecemeal view of the emergence and transmissibility of these pathogens,” says Manisha Bhinge, the managing director for health at the Rockefeller Foundation, and of the Global Networks and Partnerships with the Pandemic Prevention Institute, which was set up in 2021. This is true of India too, where the capacity to manufacture testing kits for Covid-19 has improved manifold, and its cost has reduced from almost Rs 4,500 to Rs 250-Rs 300, says Taslimarif Saiyed, CEO and director of the Center For Cellular And Molecular Platforms. Govindraj Ethiraj interviews both experts to understand India’s testing capabilities in the face of the Omicron variant of the Covid-19 virus.

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