Punjab to become first province with gene sequencing machine for coronavirus tracing

In a first, a genome sequencing machine is being purchased by Punjab to assist identify news strains of COVID-19 within the province.

Currently, only the National Institute of Health in Islamabad has such a machine. Samples from positive patients in Punjab were sent to the federal lab if a reading was required.

Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar approved Rs50 million in funds to shop for the genetic sequencing technology.

Globally, scientists have thus far identified three variants of the deadly coronavirus.

“Punjab are going to be the primary province to shop for a gene sequencing machine,” said Captain (r) Muhammad Usman Younis, secretary of the first and secondary healthcare department, during a press statement.

The machine will allow investigation of what variants of the virus are causing deaths within the second wave of the pandemic, the statement said.

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