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Mumbai’s first Genome Sequencing Lab inaugurated

Mumbai: Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday inaugurated the first-ever Genome Sequencing Laboratory in Mumbai and a Spinraza Therapy Centre for children in BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation-run hospitals, officials said here.

Speaking on the occasion, Thackeray said that the facility shall handle 400 samples simultaneously, and the results would be available within four hours.

The GSL facility will be run at the BMC’s Kasturba Hospital by the staff of the BYL Nair Charitable Hospital as part of the latter’s Centenary Year, falling on September 4, 2021.

The GSF was one of the recommendations of the State Task Force for Covid-19 to tackle the pandemic and to detect and treat the genetic mutations in the virus that have been experienced in recent months.

Nair Hospital Dean Ramesh Bharmal said that the GSL can handle 1,000-cases simultaneously and provide the results within the next few hours.

The entire cost of the equipment and the operating expenses have been raised through donations by a US-company, ATE Chandra Foundation and the TM Nair Medical College Global Alumni Association.

Bharmal said that the GSL will prove extremely useful, and the data analysed here especially pertaining to genetic research, would help in tackling not only the current Covid-19 pandemic but also for other future epidemics.

The CM further said it was very critical to have a virus testing lab in Mumbai to avoid delays in getting the test report which often led to fatalities in the past.

“We are currently fighting a war with a hidden enemy like the Coronavirus The new GSL will enable detect and treat the Covid-19 virus or its incarnations, and even other contagious diseased speedily,” Thackeray pointed out.

In order to fight the virus, it is imperative to study its genetics and the Coronavirus has shown that the longer it takes to identify the virus types, the more difficult it is to understand its effects and take steps to combat it.

Present on the occasion were Mayor Kishori Pednekar, Municipal Commissioner I.S. Chahal, Public Health Committee Chairperson Rajul Patel, Shashank Joshi, Sanjay Oak and others.

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