Private lab Mediflex Lab says it is readying itself for DNA sequencing of COVID-19 samples as HPA called for caution amid the discovery of the new variant 'Omicron' on Maldivian soil.

Speaking to "The Press" an official from the lab said that the Mediflex Gene Sequencing Lab is fully functional now and that they are awaiting approval from the Health Ministry to officially start Gene Sequencing Service.

The Official said that once it gets the approval, the lab is fully equipped to do Gene Sequencing independently and upon HPA request.

DNA sequencing machines set up in Mediflex lab/ Photo: Mediflex

The Official also said that that the lab had performed Sequencing validation run and test run last week and had tested 24 COVID samples.

The lab said that it has successfully identified 23 Delta variants and 1 Omicron variant and that the case was reported to Health Emergency Operations Center HEOC last week.

It said that the Mediflex Sequencing Laboratory is powered by Illumina Sequencing Equipments and Test Kits. and that Illumina is a world-leading developer and manufacturer of Next Generation Sequencing systems and assays.

It added that Sequencing data is shared to WHO-recommended data sharing platforms like GISAID EpiCov.

Mediflex technicians are fully trained to run DNA sequencing/ Photo: Mediflex

Meanwhile, Health Protection Agency HPA called for caution today amid the discovery of the Omicron variant in the Maldives. In a statement, the Agency said that gene sequencing showed that the Delta variant is still prevalent in the Maldives but confirmed the one case of the Omicron variant in the country.

HPA called on the public to continue implementing preventive measures like wearing face masks, hand washing, and social distancing.