UK offers assistance to Pakistan for quick detection of new Covid variants

11:37 PM | 7 Jul, 2021
UK offers assistance to Pakistan for quick detection of new Covid variants

The UK government Wednesday announced a new package of genomic sequencing support to help Pakistan’s fight against new variants of COVID-19.

The New Variant Assessment Platform (NVAP) programme will enable Pakistan to draw on UK expertise and support to detect quickly new, and potentially more dangerous, variants of COVID-19, said a press release by British High Commission in Pakistan.

The UK is a world leader in genomic sequencing for COVID variants and the second largest contributor to the international database for the variants.

Through an agreement reached between UK’s Public Health England (PHE) and Pakistan’s National Institute for Health (NIH), the UK will share its expertise and provide reagents to increase genomic sequencing capacity in Pakistan. The support will also include technical advice on bio-informatics workflow and technical processes.

The British High Commissioner to Pakistan, Dr Christian Turner said: “Sharing world class UK science expertise with Pakistan will help detecting new COVID variants of concern and keep fighting this pandemic”.

He added that the move shows the best of UK-Pakistan friendship and our commitment to back Pakistan in building back better from the impacts of COVID-19.

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