ILS, Bhubaneswar declared as designated lab for genome sequencing in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: As the Odisha government scrambles to undertake contact tracing of the United Kingdom returnees with travel history of last 14 days, the DBT-Institute of Life Sciences, Bhubaneswar was today declared as the designated laboratory for SARS-CoV-2-genome sequencing.

Additional Chief Secretary of Health and Family Welfare department PK Mohapatra directed the district administrations, Municipal Commissioners and health officials to adhere strictly to the guidelines for sample collection, storage and transport of samples for genome sequencing at the ILS laboratory. Also, Mohapatra asked the administrations and health officials to take necessary steps to contain the spread of SARs-CoV-2.

As a mutated strain of SARs-CoV-2 has been detected in UK which is spreading and growing rapidly, intense screening of all incoming passengers from the UK is required to prevent the spread of the mutated virus in India. All incoming passengers will be subjected to RTPCR test followed by genome sequencing at the designated laboratories, the letter mentioned.

The new coronavirus strain has been reportedly highly transmissible as compared to the earlier strains. Worth mentioning, genome sequencing tests are being used to identify the mutant strain of the virus.

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