COVID-19: UK offers genomic sequencing capacity and capability to Pakistan

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Through the New Variant Assessment Platform (NVAP) programme , Pakistan will be able to draw on UK expertise and support to detect quickly new, and potentially more dangerous, variants of COVID-19.

The UK has also announced to provide similar assistance to Brazil, Ethiopia, Kenya and Nigeria.

United Kingdom 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.

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

He said that this showed the best of UK-Pakistan friendship and our commitment to back Pakistan in building back better from the impacts of COVID-19.

The New Variant Assessment Platform (NVAP) is a programme announced by the British Secretary of State for Health in January 2021.

Its aim is to offer UK support globally for SARS-CoV-2 new variant identification to countries that wish to monitor the variants circulating in their population, but do not themselves have the capability to identify these variants

The UK has pivoted £18 million of UK aid in Pakistan to help save lives and mitigate the against the health and economic impacts of the pandemic, according to a statement issued by the British High Commission in Islamabad.

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