Srinagar, Dec 13 : During peak second wave of Covid-19 J&K government had planned to set up two genome sequencing labs one each in Srinagar and Jammu, however several months have passed, the planned labs are nowhere in sight.
Owing to the lack of labs, the samples are still being sent to Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Delhi for genome sequencing.
As the cases of new variant Omicron are increasing each passing day in different states of India, authorities in J&K have no option other than to send all samples to NCDC for genome sequencing so as to keep check on the new variant and stop it from spreading.
Pertinently, the government of India has already asked all States and Union Territories to send samples of every Covid positive patient for genome sequencing.
Accordingly, authorities in J&K are sending samples of every Covid positive patient to NCDC Delhi but authorities are forced to wait for one month to get the reports.
Top health officials told the news agency Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that during second wave of Covid authorities decided to set up two genome sequencing labs one in GMC Jammu and other in GMC Srinagar/SKIMS Soura besides that all details were shared with Jammu and Kashmir Medical Supplies corporation Limited (JKMSCL) for procurement of the machines required for installing two labs.
“Now even around six months have passed but so far no machine has been procured,” officials said.
However, top officials told news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that reports of samples sent for genome sequencing are now coming quickly as compared to the peak season of the second wave, “however, it still takes around two weeks at least.”
Meanwhile many health experts have also expressed their concern over the delay in results of samples sent for genome sequencing.
Managing Director JMSCL Dr Yashpal Sharma said that they have floated tenders thrice for the procurement of the genome testing machines but every time only a single bid was received.
Sharma said that within few days they will finalise this matter after which procurement process will start and within one to two months labs will be made functional—(KNO)