All 191 Covid samples genome sequenced at ILBS between Oct, Nov were Delta variant: Official

Facility at ILBS is equipped with the latest machines called NextSeq and MiSeq which can sequence the whole virus to the tune of 400 sequences per week

All 191 Covid samples genome sequenced at ILBS between Oct, Nov were Delta variant: Official

Photo for representational purpose only.

New Delhi, December 1

A genome sequencing laboratory at the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS) tested 191 Covid samples between October and November and found all of them to be of Delta variant, according to a senior official at the facility.

The laboratory, which started in July, has processed around 720 samples between August and November.

Dr S K Sarin the vice-chancellor of ILBS said of the samples received between October and November, 191 have been sequenced and all of them are of Delta and its sub-variants.

Dr Ekta Gupta, professor, department of clinical virology, at ILBS, said the laboratory had received over 277 samples in November.

Around 170 samples are pending and they will be sequenced in the next couple of days, she said.

Asked if the institute plans to ramp up its genome sequencing capacity amid concerns over the Omicron variant of coronavirus, she said, “We have a high capacity for sequencing samples. The case positivity rate of Delhi is currently low so we are not receiving a very high number of samples.”

Dr Gupta said samples that undergo genome sequencing are those that have a CT value of 25. “Currently, the viral load is low, hospital admissions are low and there is a lesser number of symptomatic people which means that we receive a lower number of samples for testing,” she added.

The facility at ILBS is equipped with the latest machines called NextSeq and MiSeq which can sequence the whole virus to the tune of 400 sequences per week.

The Delhi government has approved a new machine for ILBS, the NovaSeq, which will allow viral sequences up to 3,000 every week.

In June, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had announced that two genome sequencing laboratories to identify variants of coronavirus will come up at the LNJP Hospital and the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences.

Setting up of these laboratories were part of the Delhi government’s preparations to tackle a possible third wave of coronavirus. PTI

Tribune Shorts


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