mandag 13. desember 2021

Omicron: India aims to avoid 'pandemic roulette'

It's a frantic time at the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in the western city of Pune, India's oldest genome sequencing facility. As the country tries to contain the spread of the Omicron variant, laboratories like the NIV are working round the clock to identify people who might be infected by it.

Every day it receives about 100 throat and nasal swabs sealed in small boxes. That's roughly five times more samples than it was testing before the omicron variant - first detected in South Africa and now spreading around the world - appeared. In an airtight room the boxes are opened by researchers wearing protective suits, and the process to isolate the virus begins. The sample is labelled with a number so the scientists don't know whose swab they're checking.