Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday inaugurated the SARS-CoV-2 Genome Sequencing facility at Delhi’s Lok Nayak Jai Prakash (LNJP) hospital, which will help in identifying and analysing all the subsequent variants of Covid-19.
This facility (genetic analyzer machine), which will be helpful mainly for surveillance and public health purposes as identification of Covid-19, would be able to sequence 5 to 7 samples in a day with a turnaround time of about 4 to 5 days, Kejriwal said.
“The facility is being set up to aid and address the larger public interest considering the case fatality and re-emergence of Covid-19 outbreaks due to different SARS-CoV-2 strains,” he added.
Until now, Delhi had to depend on the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) for verification of a new Covid variant noticed in the city’s hospitals.
“Now, our doctors will be able to analyse all the variants of Covid-19 and understand them for any of the future waves or spreads in Delhi, if at all they are witnessed. If we get to know the variant on time, we will be able to strategise our preparations well and it will be helpful in taking the right actions,” Kejriwal said.
The chief minister also appealed to the people of Delhi to follow Covid protection guidelines, asserting that the Covid-19 pandemic is still ongoing, and new viral variants are rapidly emerging leading to recurrent outbreaks.
SARS-CoV-2 genome sequencing facilities are being set up at the genetic laboratory, LNJP Hospital and Institute of Liver and Biliary Services (ILBS) as a part of the Delhi government’s preparations to tackle a possible third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.