UK offers to help Pakistan fight new variants of Covid-19

Zubair Qureshi

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

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.

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

A press release issued by the High Commission of the UK in Islamabad says that the UK is a world leader in genomic sequencing for Covid variants and the second largest contributor to the international database for the variants.

The support will also include technical advice on bio-informatics workflow and technical processes.

The British High Commissioner to Pakistan, Dr Christian Turner said about the new cooperation between the two countries said, “Sharing world class UK science expertise with Pakistan will help detecting new Covid variants of concern and keep fighting this pandemic.

This 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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