Amid the rising threat of COVID 4.0, Goa gets its first genome testing facility

Amid the rising threat of COVID 4.0, Goa gets its first genome testing facility

The laboratory at North Goa district hospital is now functional

Ahead of the anticipated fourth wave of coronavirus, Goa gets its first genome testing facility at the North Goa district hospital. Earlier, all COVID samples from Goa were sent to Pune's National Institute of Virology for this analysis.

While the administration had given the nod for setting up this centre in April 2021, it took more than a year to make it functional.

Improved healthcare infrastructure

Notably, there were only 8 out of 10 certified labs across the country that were conducting genome sequencing of all the samples in 2021. This overburdened the medical facilities and delayed the process thereby increasing the risk of a chain reaction.

However, the government approved 5 private players to conduct the analysis in February this year and with the establishment of this new lab in Goa, the coastal state will no longer depend on other states for this essential medical service.

Reportedly, while all the samples will be tested at this new facility, some of the samples may also be sent to NIV Pune initially to ascertain a quality check of the Goa laboratory.

According to Dr. Geeta Kakodkar, the director of health services, with this newly-launched facility, the administration will be able to manage and mitigate the risk of COVID transmission in a better way.

What is genome testing & how can it help?

Genome testing refers to a medical test that identifies and determines the difference and growth reported in a genome due to mutation. In the case of SARSCoV-2 virus, genome testing is extremely helpful in detecting and tackling the future spread of this notorious virus. Genome testing is also very beneficial in breaking the chain and mitigating super-spreader events.

-with inputs from TOI

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