Delhi, January 14: Delhi’s international airport will get its first genome sequencing laboratory today. According to a Hindustan Times report, the lab will be used for testing samples of all travellers arriving into the country who test positive for COVID-19.
The samples that test positive will be genome sequenced to identify and contain the new mutant variant of Sars-Cov-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, detected in UK and other countries. Indian Researchers Find New Mutation in COVID-19 Genome for Testing.
As of Wednesday, the total number of persons found to be positive with the new UK Variant stood at 102. India started genome sequencing of Covid-19 positive samples of UK returnees soon after the flights from UK were suspended on December 23, 2020.
Here's what is genome sequencing?
According to a Forbes report, Genome sequencing is essentially determining the order of chemical “bases” of a DNA molecule. These sequences are used by scientists to identify genes, regulatory instructions, or in the case of Covid-19, mutations to a virus.
Sequencing efforts early on in the pandemic helped scientists determine the structure of the virus, as well as early mutations that helped the virus be transmissible enough to cause a massive pandemic.
Recently genome sequencing played a key role in identifying the more transmissible variant discovered in the UK.