Arvind Kejriwal inaugurates genome-sequencing laboratory at LNJP Hospital

New Delhi, Jul 07 (PTI):
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal inaugurated a genome-sequencing laboratory at the LNJP Hospital here on Wednesday and said it will detect the lethality of the coronavirus variants and help the government prepare accordingly.
The genome-sequencing laboratory at the state-run Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan (LNJP) Hospital is the third such facility in north India, a statement issued by the Delhi government said.
It would be able to sequence five to seven samples a day, with a turnaround time of about four to five days, the statement added. The facility will be mainly for surveillance and public health purposes as the identification of the variants of concern would be done, it said.
It will be an asset not only for the national capital but for the entire north India, the statement added. “Launched a Covid genome-sequencing facility at the LNJP Hospital, Delhi. New variants of the coronavirus are emerging all over the world. The lethality of any new variant of the virus can be detected in this laboratory in Delhi so that the government can work on a strategy to stop its spread,” Kejriwal said in a tweet in Hindi.
At the event, he said if “we get to know about the variants on time, we will be able to strategise our preparations well and it will help in taking the right actions”.
“We have been constantly reading in newspapers that new variants and mutations of COVID-19 are emerging every day. To get our samples tested, we were dependent upon the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the laboratory of the central government,” the chief minister said.
The genetic analyser machine for genome sequencing became operational at the hospital from Monday. “Through this machine, we 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 about the variants on time, we will be able to strategise our preparations well and it will be helpful in taking the right actions. We did not have any such facility until now. I have been told that this is the third such machine installed in north India,” Kejriwal said.
He added that while restrictions are being relaxed, people should follow social distancing and take the right precautions against Covid. Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain and LNJP Medical Director Dr Suresh Kumar joined Kejriwal during the launch of the facility.

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