Haryana health minister Anil Vij(HT photo)
Haryana health minister Anil Vij(HT photo)

Haryana to set up lab for genome sequencing at PGI Rohtak

  • Haryana government’s order comes soon after the identification of the first case of Delta plus variant of Covid-19 in Chandigarh
By hindustantimes.com | Written by Sharangee Dutta | Edited by Avik Roy
PUBLISHED ON JUN 30, 2021 04:24 PM IST

Haryana health minister on Wednesday said that the state government has given orders for the setting up of a laboratory for genome sequencing at the Pandit Bhagwat Dayal Sharma Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences in Rohtak, following the detection of the first case of the Delta plus variant of coronavirus (Covid-19) in Chandigarh, news agency ANI reported. “The patient’s contact tracing is being done,” news agency ANI quoted Vij as saying.

This comes after Dharam Pal, advisor to the Chandigarh administration on Tuesday stated that the contact tracing process of the patient with the Delta plus variant of Covid-19 has been completed and that there was nothing to worry about. “We are keeping a close watch on the situation,” Pal said.

According to a statement from the Chandigarh administration, the first Delta plus variant case in the Union territory was reported after 50 random samples of the region’s citizens between May and June were sent to the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) lab on June 6 for Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS).

The Delta plus variant was identified in a 35-year-old resident of Vikas Nagar Mauli-Jagran, who had tested positive for Covid-19 on May 22.

Notably, the Union ministry of health and family welfare on Tuesday confirmed that the total number of Delta plus variant cases of Covid-19 has now risen to 51 from 48, with Maharashtra recording the highest number of cases. Other affected states include Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Odisha, Jammu and Kashmir, and more. As many as 12 Indian states and Union territories, and an equal number of countries have so far been hit by the variant of Covid-19, which the Indian government has hailed as a “variant of concern” for its deadly nature.

The health ministry on Tuesday also clarified that the Delta variant, of whose subtype is the Delta Plus, can undergo about 15 to 17 mutations. However, the ministry also stated that the variant is very localised and that it has been isolated and cultured at National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune.

Several states, including Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Punjab, among others, have taken cognisance of the rising cases of Delta Plus variants of Covid-19 and re-imposed or extended lockdown-like restrictions. Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday extended curbs till July 10, with relaxations on opening pubs and bars with 50 per cent capacity. The orders that will come into effect from July 1 were passed following a high-level review meeting chaired by Singh.

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