Jammu & Kashmir to get two Genomic Sequencing Labs at Medical colleges Jammu and Srinagar

Jammu: Jammu & Kashmir Health Department has decided to set-up two genomic sequencing labs in the UT. These labs will be set-up at Medical colleges Jammu and Srinagar to ensure better healthcare management specially during the COVID like situations in the respective regions. The purchase order for the Next Generation DNA sequencing system has been placed with M/S Life Technologies Holdings Pvt Ltd and the labs are expected to be functional by March 2022. Cost of one lab is approximately Rs.1.25crore.

The Next Generation Sequencing system will enable sequencing of SARS COV2 genome for the Viral surveillance and epidemiology research. The system can also be used in future for clinical research in other infectious diseases as well as in Oncology and Reproductive Health. This technology is used by various research institutes, hospitals and molecular labs around the world. As part of the agreement, the experts from the supplier multi-national company will operationalise the lab and trains the staff for 6 months period on genome sequencing. Presence of genomic sequencing labs in the UT will reduce dependence on labs based outside Jammu & Kashmir and also help in detecting any disease at the preliminary stage.

Commenting on this development, Sri Vivek Bhardwaj (IAS), Additional Chief Secretary, Department Health & Medical Education, said, “Setting up of genome sequencing labs in Jammu & Kashmir will enhance the healthcare capacity manyfold in the UT. They will not only help in the pandemic like situations but also in other medical research purposes. The gap between availability of genome sequencing labs and number of sampling requests in the country during the third wave of pandemic limited the COVID sequencing capability. Keeping in mind the importance of the lab, the health administration decided to set-up own labs in the UT.”

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