This achievement reflects the government’s commitment to making necessary facilities available to the healthcare sector in J&K and the advanced skills of the experts in Kashmir who operate sophisticated machinery. At present, with COVID-19 cases being reported in Kashmir, the GSL’s capability to track the virus’s changing nature will be significantly enhanced. Previously, healthcare professionals had relied heavily on COVID-related literature from outside, but that is likely to change. This is a significant milestone for SKIMS and J&K’s healthcare sector.
The GSL’s role is not limited to COVID-19, as it can be used in various areas, such as personalized medicine and forensic science, apart from genetic research. Much can be accomplished through GSLs, with a primary focus on medical research, which will help make J&K self-reliant in the sector’s needs. It should be noted, however, that the needs are significant, and J&K requires at least three GSLs to be established. Now that one has been set up at SKIMS, another must be established at GMC, Srinagar, where doctors are involved in quality research, and another at GMC, Jammu, to meet general healthcare needs and the long-term requirements of medical researchers.
Before the GSL was established at SKIMS, Soura, the authorities were already in the process of setting up two such labs: one at GMC, Srinagar, and another at GMC, Jammu. However, what came to the fore before these labs could start was the establishment of one at SKIMS, Soura. There are undoubtedly many formalities and authorizations to be sought before such labs can be operational, but the authorities concerned must expedite the process and establish two more GSLs in J&K. As of now, having one at SKIMS is a significant achievement and an immediate relief. It will pave the way for increased sequencing of positive COVID-19 samples, pushing sequencing further and allowing experts to focus more effectively on the virus’s changing nature. J&K is undoubtedly on its way to becoming self-reliant in healthcare, with much more to come in various important sectors, especially health.
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