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Govt to establish genome-sequencing labs in Jammu, Srinagar

The Jammu and Kashmir health department is planning to establish two genome-sequencing labs one each in Srinagar and Jammu region for testing purposes in view of the possible third Covid wave.

To push paediatric care facilities, the government is also planning to start two centres of excellence for pediatric care both in Srinagar and Jammu besides five RTPCR labs in five districts while mobile vans would remain available in the rest of the districts for RTPCR purposes.

Additional Chief Secretary, Health and Medical Education Department, Atal Dulloo said they are making several arrangements in hospitals to counter possible third Covid wave.

“For Covid testing, we are going to start two genome-sequencing labs one each in Srinagar and Jammu for which orders for equipment have been placed,” he said.

Currently, samples from JK are sent to the National Centre for Diseases Control in Delhi and the National Institute of Virology, Pune, for the genome sequencing and their results are delayed.

The genome-sequencing is the process of determining the entirety of the DNA sequence of an organism’s genome at a single time. The labs are aimed at early identification of new coronavirus variants and these labs are emerging as a key component in the fight against the pandemic.

Dulloo said apart from strict implementation of SOPs and vaccination, they are taking several measures including the establishment of intensive care beds in district hospitals.

“We have set up ICU beds in district hospitals and the process continues,” he said.

Dulloo said they are waiting for approval from the Government of India for setting up paediatric care units in district hospitals across Jammu and Kashmir.

“Once we get the approval, we will start paediatric care units in all district hospitals,” he said.

To push paediatric care facilities, Dulloo said that they are also planning to start two centres of excellence for pediatric care both in Srinagar and Jammu.

The health department is also starting five RTPCR labs in five districts while mobile vans would remain available in the rest of the districts for RTPCR purposes. Rising Kashmir