UK Offers Genomic Sequencing Capacity And Capability To Pakistan

The UK Government Today Announced A New Package Of Genomic Sequencing Support To Help Pakistan’s Fight Against New Variants Of Covid-19.

The UK Government Today Announced A New Package Of Genomic Sequencing Support To Help Pakistan’s Fight Against New Variants Of Covid-19. 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 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. This shows the best of UK-Pakistan friendship and our commitment to back Pakistan in building back better from the impacts of COVID19.

  • The New Variant Assessment Platform (NVAP) is a programme announced by the 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.
  • Strong surveillance, including genomics, is key to identifying and controlling the transmission of the virus. UK support through the NVAP will provide valuable information to other countries, allowing them to strengthen their own genomic surveillance.
  • NVAP is led by PHE and will be taken forward by the UK Health Security Agency, working closely with the Department for Health and Social Care and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.
  • NVAP will collaborate with key scientific partners both within the UK and across the world.
  • The UK has strong scientific links globally which are being leveraged in developing the programme.
  • The UK is committed to equitable access to vaccines globally. At the G7, the UK announced it will donate 100m vaccines for the world. This is in addition to our £548m funding for COVAX which will provide vaccines for free to over 90 countries, including Pakistan.
  • UK science helped the development of the Oxford-University AstraZeneca vaccine; and we are funding a new centre in the UK that will play a key role in controlling zoonotic diseases and protecting the livelihoods of farmers.
  • The UK has pivoted £18m of UK aid in Pakistan to help save lives and mitigate the against the health and economic impacts of the pandemic.

This news was originally published at GOV.

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