In a bid to combat corona's new Omicron variant, the Bihar government on Sunday began genome sequencing in the Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS) in Patna.

Till now, the hospitals of Bihar were sending samples of Covid-19 patients to the NCDC lab in Delhi to check for the virus strain.

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Reports pertaining to infected persons will be available in 7 days. An official of IGIMS said that the lab had the equipment and space for genome sequencing earlier but it is lacking a reagent which is required to conduct the test.

"Now, we have adequately arranged reagents as well as medical equipment to conduct tests. We will conduct 25 tests in one day," he said.

The state Health Department made arrangements for an Omicron testing facility after a 26-year-old was detected with the variant in Patna. In wake of this, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, chairing a high-level meeting, directed genome sequencing tests be started in the IGIMS.

Nitish Kumar
In picture: Nitish Kumar.IANS File Photo

The officer said that the medical staff were already undergoing genome sequencing training in Delhi, and have taken over the charge in IGIMS.

The Omicron or Delta variant of virus can be detected only through genome sequencing.

In Bihar, only one case of Omicron appeared so far, while the number of active cases stands at 749.