India’s capital Delhi’s first genome-sequencing laboratory was opened at the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan (LNJP) Hospital on Wednesday. Inaugurated by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the lab will detect the Covid-19’s variants lethality enabling the government to make adequate preparation.
The genome-sequencing laboratory at the state-run LNJP Hospital is the third such lab in north India, the Delhi government has said. The newly-launched lab would be able to sequence five to seven samples every day with four to five days of turnaround time, it added. The laboratory will be primarily for surveillance and public health uses as the facility will conduct the identification of the variants of concern.
“Launched a Covid genome-sequencing facility at the LNJP Hospital, Delhi. New variants of the coronavirus are emerging all over the world. The lethality of any new variant of the virus can be detected in this laboratory in Delhi so that the government can work on a strategy to stop its spread,” news agency PTI quoted Kejriwal as saying.
“If we get to know about the variants on time, we will be able to strategise our preparations well and it will help in taking the right actions. We have been constantly reading in newspapers that new variants and mutations of Covid-19 are emerging every day. To get our samples tested, we were dependent upon the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the laboratory of the central government,” he added.