Public Health England says it’s scientists have fully sequenced the novel coronavirus (n-CoV) viral genome.
This will support the scientific community to trace the source of the virus, understand how it has developed and make interventions to help the treatment.
“I’m proud UK scientists are at the forefront of the global research effort – this is a vital step forward in the international fight against novel coronavirus,” said Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
So far, there have been two confirmed cases of the virus in the UK and it is one of the first countries outside China to have an assured testing capability for n-CoV.
The publication of the sequence by PHE provides valuable information on any mutations in the virus over time and allows an improved understanding of how the virus spreads.
“By sequencing this virus’s genome we can better understand the roots of this disease, predict its behaviour, and learn how to tackle it. We are excited to share this knowledge across the scientific community and will continue to work closely with partners around the world,” Hancock said.
Prof Yvonne Doyle, Medical Director at Public Health England, called it as ‘a crucial step’ in understanding the virus.
“These data play an integral part in helping the scientific community in tackling this global problem,” Prof Doyle said.