Fast-spreading strain of COVID dominates Lahore, reveals latest study

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LAHORE – A more easily spread coronavirus variant first identified in England last year has now become the dominant strain in Lahore, a study conducted at the University of Health Sciences (UHS) revealed on Monday.

“The prevalence of variants of concern is increasing and it is now clear that the U.K. variant, known as B.1.1.7, has taken hold across the metropolis”, said the UHS Immunology department’s associate professor, Dr Shah Jehan who is the principal investigator of the research.

“Based on our most recent study, the B.1.1.7 variant is now the most common lineage circulating in Lahore,” Dr Shah Jehan said adding that out of total 100 samples, 89 had UK/Kent variant while only 2 had B.1.351, that is, the South African strain of Covid-19 virus.

The next-generation sequencing technique was then used to identify the types of coronavirus. He added that he was working with his fellow researcher and Head of the Department of lmmunology, Professor Nadeem Afzal, on whole-genome sequencing of 1,000 samples, after which they would be able to provide a true picture of the types of viruses across Pakistan.

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