Jaipur's SMS Medical College now houses country's first state-level genome sequencing lab
In a bid to increase the COVID vigil, the govt of Rajasthan has set up a genome sequencing facility at the Sawai Man Singh Medical College in Jaipur. Pegged to be the first of its kind across India, the laboratory has been developed at the cost of ₹1 crore of the state's fund to identify the various mutants of the novel coronavirus. At present, the Delta and Delta + variant of the COVID strain have raised alarms across 3 states in the nation and surveillance has been increased in Rajasthan for the same.
New lab to augment the genome sequencing process
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Rajasthan's Sawai Man Singh Medical College has become the first institute across India to house a state-level genome sequencing lab. This state-level lab will take the load of the IGIB lab in Delhi, which was being used until now, by the authority of the ICMR, to sequence the samples sent by the state.
As per the Health Minister, Rajasthan was sending 300 samples to IGIB but was not receiving the test reports on time. The new facility will, therefore, catalyse the overall process by saving the time spent on the transportation of samples and reports.
The state's genome sequencing facility has been running operations since June 15, read reports. At present, the machines and equipment here can manage to test 20 samples daily and plans are underway to raise this potential up to 80. The reports of the sequencing process and authenticates within 3-4 days from the date of sampling.
Delta+ variant not detected in Rajasthan, yet
The Health Minister informed that the SMS Medical College lab has successfully tested 100 samples as of now. While 90% of these have tested positive for the B1.1 - Delta variant, the prevalency of Delta plus mutation is yet not detected here. Senior officials of the health department also confirmed that not even a single case of Delta+ strain has been found in Rajasthan.
It may be noted that the Union Health Ministry has issued an alert regarding the new strain in Maharashtra, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh after it was traced in some districts here.