Chandigarh, Sep 16 (PTI) No new coronavirus variant was identified from the around 150 samples tested at the newly set up COVID-19 genome sequencing facility at Patiala, Punjab Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu said on Thursday.

Earlier, the samples were sent to the National Centre for Diseases Control in Delhi where it would take more than a month to get the results, Sidhu said in a statement issued here.

Experts say, if a new variant is found in a specific area, there is an immediate need to conduct contact tracing and testing of all suspected patients to prevent the spread of the virus, he said.

Now, with the state’s first genome sequencing facility at government medical college and hospital in Patiala, the reports will be available in five to six days, he added.

The genome sequencer and supportive equipment has been donated by a US-based non-profit organisation, PATH, he said.