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Mizoram sets up genome sequencing facility in state-run hospital

The Mizoram government has set up a genome sequencing facility at the state-run Zoram Medical College’s Virus Research and Diagnostic Laboratory (VRDL) near here, the assembly was informed on Tuesday.

Replying to questions from ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) members Dr ZR Thiamsanga and Zothantluanga, health minister Dr R Lalthangliana said the genomic sequencing laboratory was funded by a US-based organisation- Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH).

“Although trial run for the laboratory has been conducted at least three times, genomic sequencing test is yet to be conducted,” Lalthangliana said.

Mizoram used to send COVID-19 samples for genome sequencing to the National Institute of Biomedical Genomics in West Bengal’s Kalyani, according to a health official.

Lalthangliana also said in the assembly that 96.41 per cent of targetted beneficiaries have been administered the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine till February 16, and 79.49 per cent of people, who got the first jab, have received the second one during the same period.

According to state immunisation officer Lalmuanawma Jongte, more than 8 lakh people have been inoculated till Tuesday and of them, 6.51 lakh have been fully vaccinated.

Lalthangliana said the state government has faced some problems in vaccination process due to poor mobile network connectivity and fear psychosis among people created by false news on social media.

Some people refused to take vaccine shots due to religious beliefs and the process of immunisation could not be expedited in remote villages, which are not reachable by motor vehicles, he said.

According to the minister, the state now has two RT-PCR laboratories- one each in ZMC and Lunglei town in the southern part of the state.

Oxygen plants have been already installed in all the districts, he said. ThePrint

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