Health

Genome lab to help analyse Covid variants, Health News, ET HealthWorld

New Delhi: Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal inaugurated a SARS CoV2 genome sequencing facility at the genetic laboratory of Lok Nayak Hospital on Wednesday, the third such facility in north India. It will help the government identify and analyse all Covid-19 variants in preparation of future resurgences and also enable advance plans to avert infection and loss of human lives.

Delhi has depended on the National Centre for Disease Control, a central government laboratory, to get the capital’s samples tested. The genome sequencing is important due to frequent emergence of variants of the novel coronavirus.

Kejriwal said Delhi government had purchased a genetic analyser machine for genome sequencing. “With this machine, we will be able to analyse all the variants of Covid and understand them for any future waves in Delhi. If we get to learn about the variant in time, we will be able to strategise our preparations and take the right actions. We did not have any such facility until today,” he said.

The genome sequencer facility will be an asset not only for Delhi but for the entire northern India. Kejriwal said Delhiites would benefit from this machine and congratulated Lok Nayak Hospital medical director Dr Suresh Kumar and his team for getting it ready in a short span.

The coronavirus is notorious for mutating and in such circumstances, it would significantly help to know about the circulating viral strains so contact tracing can be done to check the infection.

The AAP government will start the SARS CoV2 genome sequencing facility at the Institute of Liver and Biliary Services on Thursday as a part of Delhi government’s preparations to tackle a possible resurgence of Covid in the capital.

This newly acquired machine is able to sequence 5-7 samples in a day with a turnaround time of 4-5 days. This facility will be mainly for surveillance and public health purposes with the identification of any variant of concern. It is being set up to aid and address the larger public interest considering the case fatality and re-emergence of Covid due to different SARS CoV2 strains. The CM also appealed to all citizens to strictly follow Covid-appropriate behaviour to check the spread of the deadly coronavirus that has claimed the lives of over 25,000 Delhiites.

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