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Punjab to purchase gene sequencing expertise to trace COVID-19 variants

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The genome sequencing machine Pakistan can be shopping for. Photograph: Courtesy Punjab major and secondary healthcare division
  • Punjab can be first province to amass genome sequencing machine
  • Chief Minister Usman Buzdar approves Rs50 million in funds for the provincial well being division to put an order for genetic sequencing expertise
  • Globally, scientists have recognized three variants of the lethal coronavirus to this point

LAHORE: Punjab will turn out to be the primary province in Pakistan to amass a genome sequencing machine, which is able to assist it determine new strains of the coronavirus within the province.

On Thursday, Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar authorised Rs50 million in funds for the provincial well being division to put an order for genetic sequencing expertise.

“Punjab will be the first province to buy a gene sequencing machine,” mentioned Captain (r) Muhammad Usman Younis, secretary of the first and secondary healthcare division, in a press assertion. 

Learn extra: Punjab well being dept says no affected person with new pressure of coronavirus reported but

The machine will permit investigation of what variants of the virus are inflicting deaths within the second wave of the pandemic, the assertion mentioned.

Previous to this, solely the Islamabad-based Nationwide Institute of Well being had a gene sequencing machine and samples collected from constructive sufferers in Punjab needed to be despatched to the federal laboratory for a studying.

Three variants of coronavirus recognized to this point

Globally, scientists have recognized three variants of the lethal coronavirus, which had been first detected in England, South Africa and Brazil. The mutations, that are thought of to be extremely transmissible, have now unfold to different nations.

Learn extra: US detects first case of extremely infectious coronavirus variant

The UK-variant alone has been traced in 50 nations, territories and areas so far, mentioned the World Well being Group earlier this month. 

In consequence, the WHO has urged all nations to ramp up genome sequencing to assist fight the rising variants.

Final month, the Sindh well being division detected the brand new variant of the coronavirus in three passengers coming into the nation from the UK.

Whereas Punjab has until no longer detected any mutations of the virus, Younis says that the provincial well being division has already began procurement of the gene sequencing machine.

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