Gujarat National Law University (GNLU) is fast emerging as the epicentre of the recent Covid surge with 37 students affected in two days had further 16 students tested Covid positive on Sunday, bringing the tally to 53. The State-run Gujarat Biotechnology Research Centre (GBRC) has decided to fast-track the genome sequencing of samples to confirm the lineage and variant of Covid infection from a positive sample.
The Gujarat Biotechnology Research Centre has learnt a lesson from inordinate delay in the case of a patient from Vadodara, who tested Covid positive on March 12 and his sequencing for XE recombinant variant of Omicron came after 28 days.
The cause of the delay in the Vadodara case is pinned upon the methodology of running a new state-of-the-art sequencing machine — Illumina NovaSeq 6000 being in use by GBRC since February. While taking up the lab’s sequencing capacity from 200 per week to 1,000 per week, the machine had to wait till it had a minimum of 750 Covid samples to run, to avoid wastage of reagent kits and government money.
GBRC received the sample on March 17 and published sequencing results on April 4. The result, sent to the National Institute of Biomedical Genomics (NIBMG) in Kalyani, West Bengal for verification and confirmation was t received back on April 8 and was declared on April 9.
For fast-tracking GNLU cases, older sequencing machines will be used. A total of twenty-two samples from GNLU were for sequencing to give quick results. The sudden high number of Covid cases at GNLU in Gandhinagar requires the Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) to be taken up on priority.