After confirming the primary case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, Kerala is operating the genome sequencing assessments on 30 extra samples on the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology in Thiruvananthapuram.
As NDTV stepped into the laboratory – the place the preliminary 8-hour preparatory paintings at the samples is completed – the workforce contributors have been noticed dressed in Non-public Protecting Apparatus or PPE kits, running on samples within the demarcated task-specific cabins.
“We’ve been despatched 4 samples from the principle contacts of the primary Omicron sure case. With the exception of this, there are round 25 samples we have now won from other global airports within the state of passengers who’ve examined sure for COVID-19,” Dr Radhakrishnan, the scientist answerable for the laboratory the place the genome sequencing is being carried out, instructed NDTV. The primary Omicron case in Kerala, of a UK-returned passenger, used to be showed by means of the state Well being Minister on December twelfth.
Genome sequencing at this centre can take as much as a most of 72 hours and an extra day or two for bioinformatic main points when complete capability.
“We’ve a most capability of doing genome sequencing for three,000 samples an afternoon. After we showed the primary case, we had simply 8 samples with us. One go with the flow mobile can be utilized best as soon as and will take a most of as much as 96 samples. Each and every go with the flow mobile prices 1.2 lakh,” Dr Radhakrishnan defined.
The centre’s laboratory has been running round-the-clock, with none off days since March 2020.
“It is a nationwide emergency. We’ve needed to placed on hang or stay apart particular time slots for different kinds of sequencing and prioritise COVID-19 and Omicron. It is all fingers on [deck],” Dr Radhakrishnan mentioned.
On being requested if the time taken to verify Omicron thru a genome series in India is upper than different nations, Dr Radhakrishnan confirmed the extraordinarily compact handheld device “Oxford Nanopore” – one of the crucial 3 machines they use – and mentioned, “That is very a lot usual. There’s no different generation on this planet that may do quicker than this. As a result of not one of the generation we use in India is lately indigenous. So no matter device america has, is identical device India has or any place else on this planet.”