Jammu, Srinagar likely to have genome sequencing labs soon

Jammu: Just like other parts of the country, Jammu and Kashmir is also witnessing a huge surge in Covid-19 cases, two genome sequencing laboratories are likely to be installed soon in twin capital cities Jammu and Srinagar of the Union Territory.
Notably, during the second wave of Covid-19, Jammu and Kashmir administration had initiated the process of setting up two genome sequencing labs one each in Srinagar and Jammu, but the installation of expected labs could not take off.
Thus, owing to the lack of labs, the samples are being sent to the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Delhi for genome sequencing.
“Proposed in the second wave, Jammu and Kashmir is likely to have two genome sequencing labs very soon,” Health Department sources told UNI.
As of now, J&K due to lack of labs, Covid tests are being sent to NCDC, Delhi but with an installation of the proposed labs, the samples will be tested in the region.
“The Omicron variant threat is looming large, so authorities have no option other than to send all samples to NCDC for genome sequencing to keep check on its spread,” they said.
“During second wave, authorities decided to set up one lab each in GMC Jammu and in GMC Srinagar/SKIMS Soura following which all details were shared with Jammu and Kashmir Medical Supplies Corporation Limited (JKMSCL) for procurement of the machines needed for installing of labs,” they said.
“The tenders to procure machinery for installation of labs were floated thrice but every time a single bid was received,” said Dr Yashpal Sharma, MD, Jammu and Kashmir Medical Supplies Corporation Limited.
He said that rate accessibility exercise is being conducted and the Department of microbiology, GMC Srinagar is on job, adding, “once it is done and rates issue be settled, order will be placed soon and the machines be procured and installed.”
Pertinently, the government of India has already asked all States and Union Territories to send samples of every Covid positive patient for genome sequencing.