Mizoram Genome
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The Mizoram government has successfully installed a genomic sequencing laboratory at the state lone medical college- Zoram Medical College’s Virus Research and Diagnostic Laboratory (VRDL) near Aizawl, state health minister Dr R. Lalthangliana informed the state legislature on Tuesday.

Replying to combined questions from ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) members Dr ZR Thiamsanga and Zothantluanga, the health minister said that the genomic sequencing laboratory was funded by a US-based global health organisation- Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH).

“Although trial run for the laboratory has been conducted at least three times, genomic sequencing test is yet to be conducted because of faulty in reagent or kits,” Lalthangliana said.

New reagents and technical specialists are expected to arrive soon, he said.

For genome sequencing, Mizoram used to send COVID-19 samples to the National Institute of Biomedical Genomics in West Bengal’s Kalyani, according to health officials.

Lalthangliana also informed the assembly that 96.41 per cent of targeted beneficiaries have been administered the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine from 26 January 2021 till February 16. About 79.49% of people who got the first jab, have received the full dose during the same period.

He said that the state government has faced some inconvenience in vaccination due to poor mobile network connectivity and fear psychosis created by the spread of false news on social media.

Some people refused to be vaccinated due to religious beliefs and the process of vaccination could not be expedited in remote rural villages, which are not reachable by motor vehicles, he said.

According to the minister, the state now has two RT-PCR laboratories- one each in ZMC and Lunglei town in the southern part of the state.

Oxygen plants have been already installed in all the districts apart from two in Aizawl, he said.

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