Genome sequencing lab in Mumbai to be inaugurated on August 4

As per reports, the delay in receiving the machine was observed due to logistical issues imposed in Singapore amidst the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Genome sequencing lab in Mumbai to be inaugurated on August 4

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), on Friday, July 30, 2021, informed that the  inauguration of city's much-awaited genome sequencing laboratory at the Kasturba Hospital will be held on August 4, 2021.  

The machine procured for the laboratory is worth 6.5 crore and has finally arrived in Mumbai a long delay. As per reports, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is expected to inaugurate the same post which the civic body and hospital officials will start the activities in the first week of August after initial testing. Confirmation from the office is yet to be received.  

Officials from the municipal corporation has informed that the laboratory will help in improve the turnout of the results. As of now, all the samples were sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune, however, once the lab is reopened, the process will be completed quickly and the results can be expected within a few days instead of weeks.

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The process of genome sequencing is important to identify coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the state and the facility will prove to be beneficial especially in this time when the cases with the recently identified delta variant have increased in the last few weeks. Earlier, NIV had released reports with two delta variant cases which were found in Mumbai. 

Sharing more information about this new facility, Additional Municipal Commissioner, Suresh Kakani said that the new facility will be able to help the government in taking necessary steps in a quick manner as the results can be released in merely two to three days, because of which effective treatment can be provided. Meanwhile, this can also help in controlling the spread of COVID-19.

He confirmed that the BMC has received the machine with a few spare parts. The delay in receiving the machine was observed as the same was held in Singapore due to logistical concerns amidst the COVID pandemic. However, the team at the hospital is expecting to start the operations once the lab is inaugurated and the samples are tested in the first week of August.

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As of now, the team has informed that the reports will be released in two to three days once the sample is submitted. Moreover, officials also aim is to conduct research related to mutations, not just with the current delta plus variant, but also with  other variants which could potentially pose a threat in intensifying the pandemic. 

The laboratory has currently received INR 12 crores from the CSR funding of an American company, Illumina. However, the first year operational costs are a part of the funding provided. 

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