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US Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti visits Next Generation Sequencing lab in Goa hospital

Panaji: US Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti paid a visit to the Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) laboratory at North Goa District Hospital and interacted with the staff, officials said.

Garcetti, accompanied by officials of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) India and members of the Goa Health Department, visited the laboratory on Friday, they said.

A senior official of the Goa health department said that the US Ambassador’s visit highlights the state’s strides in genomic surveillance and pathogen detection, crucial in battling pandemics and endemic diseases.

“The NGS laboratory in Goa, a marvel of medical technology, stands as the only district hospital lab in India with a trifecta of distinctions: an ICMR VRDL lab, an INSACOG member lab, and possessing Next-Generation Sequencing capabilities,” the official said.

Ambassador Garcetti’s visit provided a platform for demonstrating the laboratory’s capabilities and its crucial role in enhancing Goa’s public health infrastructure, he said.

Speaking on the occasion, Goa’s health secretary Arun Kumar Mishra said the state’s rapid response, integrating state-of-the-art facilities and technologies like molecular testing labs and telemedicine, was pivotal in serving both local and international health needs during the Covid-19 crisis.

“The operationalisation of the NGS lab is a prime example of our ‘Global to Local’ approach, where global technologies are adapted to meet our specific needs, and conversely, we have to think how our local solutions can inform global health strategies as well,” he said.

(Published 28 October 2023, 05:50 IST)

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