J&K to get much-needed Genome Sequence testing labs

J&K is all set to establish two Genome Sequence Testing labs in Government Medical Colleges, and Hospitals of Jammu and Srinagar to detect variants of the COVID19 virus with the help of a German company as changing variants’ threat looms large.

According to the officials, these labs would be established in both the GMCs of Jammu and Srinagar within one and half months though the necessary formalities are still in the pipeline.

“A company from Germany has agreed to establish the Genome Sequence Lab in both GMCs of Jammu and Srinagar. We are at the final stage to complete the formalities by the coming week,” an official claimed while wishing not to be quoted.

The official said that the deadly virus is fast changing its variants, and so far, the Delta variant has proved to be deadliest in comparison to Omicron, which is spreading more quickly than the past variants.

“It had become a necessity to establish labs in both the regions of J&K as the sample reports were taking time. We intend to protect the lives of the people. The official said that proper medical care is possible when we know the variant with which the patient is infected,” the official said.

As per the agreement, the official said, “The Germany-based company would assist in technical handling of the labs for six months and train our technical staff.”

“For six months, they have agreed to provide us assistance, and after that, our staff trained staff would be able to handle the labs by themselves,” the official added.

Even as the treatment of the COVID infected patients mostly remains the same, the official further said that the COVID19 is changing variants in an unpredictable manner which is the leading cause of concern.

“Establishment of labs is part of the preparation for the future as well. COVID is changing its variant fast and becoming more lethal. So our preparation should be to handle the situation before it is too late,” another official said, quoting last year’s experience. At present, the samples for Genome Sequence are being sent outside J&K (Delhi), and it consumes precious time to get the report.