Updated: May 3, 2021 12:10:25 am
THE STATE government has decided to send 100 samples of the novel coronavirus for genome sequencing to CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB) for a detailed analysis of virus mutants and variants.
A pact will formally be inked between Directorate of Medical Education and Research, Maharashtra, and IGIB, Delhi. Maharashtra is one of the worst-hit states in the ongoing second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, with over 60,000 cases emerging daily. The state has a test positivity rate of over 20 per cent.
Genome sequencing undertaken by Indian SARS-CoV-2 Consortium on Genomics (INSACOG) had pointed out a distinct strain of the virus emerging from Vidarbha region, since early March.
These were identified as L452R mutations seen along with E484Q. The IGIB is one of 10 national institutions in INSACOG, which has been constituted by the central government for the surveillance of virus mutations.
The genome sequencing exercise will be carried out in three phases, with each phase lasting a month. The state will send samples for the next three months with the sample size kept variable and dependent on district-wise caseload and the population being infected with Covid-19.
The expenditure for sequencing samples from Maharashtra, estimated to be about Rs 1.62 crore, will be provided by the state government. Earlier, Kerala had also approached IGIB for a similar genome sequencing task.
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