Punjab’s 1st genome-sequencing lab in Patiala yet to become functional

Machine may take a week to reach Govt Medical College

Punjab’s 1st genome-sequencing lab in Patiala yet to become functional

First whole genome-sequencing lab of Punjab at Government Medical College here has not become functional as the college authorities are yet to receive a genome-sequencing machine to identify new variants of coronavirus. - File photo

Karam Prakash

Tribune News Service

Patiala, August 1

First whole genome-sequencing lab of Punjab at Government Medical College here has not become functional as the college authorities are yet to receive a genome-sequencing machine to identify new variants of coronavirus.

Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh had said that they would start the lab by the end of July. It was learnt that the machine might take a week or so to reach the college.

Dr Rupinder Bakshi, in charge of VRDL Lab, Govt Medical College

Staff imparted training

}The private company that has to provide the machine has imparted training to the staff on their portable machine. As soon as the machine arrives, we will start genome sequencing here.

The authorities said their staff had been trained and as soon as they get the machine, the lab would start functioning.

The state sends samples to the National Centre for Diseases Control in Delhi and the National Institute of Virology, Pune, for genome sequencing, and the results are declared after a month or so, owing to the heavy rush of samples across the country.

A 27-year-old resident of the city tested positive on May 11 and his sample was sent for viral genome sequencing on May 15. The results reached here on June 21. There was no room for health officials to curb the spread of the disease, thanks to the late arrival of results.

Health officials said the new lab would help in early detection of any new variant of coronavirus in the state. When the new lab becomes functional, genome-sequencing results will be available within two or three days.

Dr Rupinder Bakshi, in charge of VRDL Lab, Government Medical College, said: “The private company that has to provide the machine has imparted training to the staff on their portable machine. As soon as the machine arrives, we will start genome sequencing.

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