The Gujarat state government recently released figures showing that they sent fewer samples for genome sequencing than required by central government guidelines. The government released an official figure of 5,81,539 crore cases across the state in the 11 months from January 2021 to December 3, 2021. According to ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) guidelines, 5% of total case samples are required to be sent for genome sequencing.
Until now, all samples from Gujarat were sent to NIV (National Institute of Virology) in Pune. However, after the central government gave its approval to report genomes to the GBRC (Gujarat Biotechnology Research Center) laboratory at Gandhinagar in March-April, most samples from the state were sent there for testing.
According to Dr Nilam Patel, Editor-in-Chief, Public Health, a total of 2,797 samples were sent for genome sequencing so far in the last 12 months. Of these, 1,830 samples were sent to the NIV lab in Pune and 967 to the GBRC lab in Gandhinagar.