Tribune News Service
Patiala, August 18
After some delay, Punjab’s first whole genome sequencing lab has started functioning at the Government Medical College here. It has been learnt that the lab has already started testing samples to ascertain Covid mutations if any.
The facility will be an added advantage in the battle against Covid-19 pandemic because test results will be available within 24 hours.
Earlier, Punjab used to send samples to the National Centre for Diseases Control in Delhi and the National Institute of Virology, Pune.
Dr Akashdeep, joint director, Medical Education Department, said the new lab would help in early detection of any new variant of coronavirus in the state.
“Random samples of positive patients are tested at the lab to find the type of Covid variant,” he added.
Samples had been already been tested and reports submitted to the government, he said.
“Now, we will get reports soon. Consequently, we can act epidemiologically and take preventive measures accordingly,” he added.
“In the past sans any such lab in the state, we had to wait for 40 days to get test results of the only delta plus variant in the district,” he said.
Dr Rupinder Bakshi, in-charge, Genome Sequencing Lab, said they could test 96 samples at a time while reports would be available within 24 hours. “The lab will test samples from across the state. Earlier, we had to send samples for genome sequencing to Delhi or Pune,” she added.
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