Delhi international airport to get first of its kind genome sequencing lab today
To test the travelers coming into the country who might test positive for COVID-19, a first of its kind genome sequencing laboratory is being launched at the New Delhi international airport.
The positive samples of Sars-CoV-2( the virus that causes Covid-19) and was detected by the UK and other countries will be genome sequenced to identify and contain the new mutant variant.
The inauguration will be done by Dr Vinod Paul, member (health) Niti Aayog and chairman, the national expert group on vaccine administration for Covid-19 (NEGVAC) on Thursday morning, in the presence of Dr Anurag Agrawal, director, CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, Ajay Singh, chairman and managing director, SpiceJet, and Avani Singh, chief executive officer, SpiceHealth.
After the suspension of flights from the UK on December 23, 2020, India had started genome sequencing of Covid-19 positive samples of passengers returning from the UK. The total number of people found positive with the new UK variant genome was 102 on Wednesday.
At least 5% of all Covid-19 positive samples have begun sequencing in India as an attempt to better track mutations in the Sars-CoV-2 virus.
The government has set up a genomic surveillance consortium under the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to carry out the procedure. To perform genome sequencing of samples, ten highly advanced labs in reputed institutes from across the country have been designated.
Last month, the laboratory network– Indian Sars-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (Insacog) was specifically created for this purpose.
The labs are NIMHANS, Bengaluru, CCMB, Hyderabad, NIV, Pune, IGIB, Delhi, NCDC, New Delhi, NCBG, Kolkata, NCBS, InSTEM, Bengaluru, CDFD Hyderabad, ILS Bhubaneswar, and NCCS Pune.
The countries that have reported about the new UK variant are Denmark, Netherlands, Australia, Italy, Sweden, France, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Japan, Lebanon, and Singapore.