The first genome sequencing laboratory in western Uttar Pradesh is almost ready and is likely to start operations soon at the Government Institute of Medical Sciences (GIMS) in Kasna, Greater Noida.
Till now samples are sent to Delhi or Lucknow for genome sequencing. With the large number of samples completed in fewer laboratories, it takes up to a week to learn about the genetic structure of the disease-causing microorganism. Besides, district health officials are informed about the report only when abnormal results are reported, sources in the health department said.
With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, gene sequencing has become imperative as over the years several types of deadly viruses have appeared presenting increasingly different symptoms. This made it extremely important to identify the types affecting patients. However, this method is also used in many other diseases.
“Our permissions have been sorted out and the laboratory is almost ready to operate. We can start working by May 10, and initially we will be able to test around 50 samples daily. Not just COVID-19, this lab will help in genome sequencing of many other diseases like dengue fever which are present in four different forms. Other viral infections can also be tracked and treated accordingly, if we know the origin and structure of their causes,” said Brigadier Dr Rakesh Gupta (Retd), Director, GIMS.
GIMS has also received additional land for expansion of its campus and for conducting MBBS, Nursing and Paramedical courses. According to officials, the work on the new campus adjoining the existing building will now be expedited and new courses will be started within a year.
Meanwhile, Gautam Budh Nagar district reported 120 new cases on Monday, taking the active caseload to 650. There was a slight drop in cases on Sunday when less than 100 cases were reported in the district after a gap of five days. Overall, 22 percent more cases were reported in Gautam Budh Nagar on Monday as compared to Sunday.
With the increasing cases, Noida Police has also started strict action against those who do not wear masks in public places. As many as 1,018 people were fined in various market areas on Sunday evening.
“All police stations are conducting regular campaigns in their respective areas, asking people to wear masks through announcements on the Public Address (PA) system. Masks are also being distributed and provision is also being made for fines for violating Covid-19 guidelines. Police stations across the district penalized 1,018 people and launched an extensive investigation operation on Sunday,” said a spokesperson of the media cell of Gautam Budh Nagar police, requesting anonymity.
From April 18, the state government has made wearing of masks mandatory in public places in the state capital Lucknow as well as in six NCR districts of Gautam Budh Nagar, Ghaziabad, Hapur, Meerut, Baghpat and Bulandshahr.