Andhra Pradesh gets its first genome sequencing lab in Vijayawada

State Medical and Health Department signed an agreement with the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) for establishing the lab in Andhra Pradesh. The facility will be set up at the Government Medical College, Vijayawada, and is likely to function from next week.

By Sri Lakshmi Muttevi  Published on  13 Dec 2021 10:17 AM GMT
Andhra Pradesh gets its first genome sequencing lab in Vijayawada

Vijayawada: Amid the Omicron threat, the Andhra Pradesh government has decided to set up the genome sequencing lab in Vijayawada.

The decision was taken at a time when the first case of Omicron was detected in the state.

State Medical and Health Department signed an agreement with the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) for establishing the lab in Andhra Pradesh. The facility will be set up at the Government Medical College, Vijayawada, and is likely to function from next week.

"The required equipment for setting up the genome sequencing lab is ready and the fabrication process is underway. We are on mission mode to begin this lab soon so as to prevent the delay in getting sample reports," said Dr. G Hymavathi, Director of Public Health,

Medical and Health Department officials said more than 15,000 visitors arrived in Andhra Pradesh from South Africa, Ireland, UK from November till date. All of them tested negative.

However, a 34-year-old foreign traveler from Vizainagaram tested positive on November 27 with no symptoms. He was put under home isolation for two weeks.

On December 12, he was found Omicron positive. It created a panic situation with many of his contact fearing to have been infected.

Previously, 15-20 percent of the positive cases reported in AP are sent to CCMB lab, Hyderabad for genome sequencing. But, as the state sees an increase in international travelers, all the samples were sent to the CCMB lab in Hyderabad.

"Of the 15 samples of international travelers sent in last month, one was tested positive for Omicron. The delay in test reports may lead to the spread of new variant. With our own lab in the state, the health department can take necessary precautions to avoid the pandemic situation", said an Official from the Medical and Health Department.

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