WORLD Lithuania to start genome sequencing process to monitor COVID-19 strains

WORLD

Lithuania to start genome sequencing process to monitor COVID-19 strains

Xinhua

09:50, February 05, 2021

VILNIUS, Feb. 4 (Xinhua) -- Lithuania will start coronavirus genome sequencing process to monitor the diversity, prevalence and genome change of COVID-19 strains in Lithuania, the country's health ministry said on Thursday.

File photo: AFP

The National Public Health Surveillance Laboratory is responsible for organizing and coordinating the process. It will have to ensure that one percent of all positive cases will get genome sequencing tests, said the ministry.

Coronavirus genome sequencing research will be funded by the state budget and the country will also turn to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control for some help, according to the ministry.

The ministry confirmed on Monday the country's first case of the coronavirus variant first detected in Britain. The new strain of coronavirus was found in a woman from the capital city of Vilnius.

So far, Lithuania has registered 184,948 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 2,885 related deaths, according to the Department of Statistics.

As the world is struggling to contain the pandemic, vaccination is underway in some countries with the already-authorized coronavirus vaccines.

Meanwhile, 238 candidate vaccines are still being developed worldwide -- 63 of them in clinical trials -- in countries including Germany, China, Russia, Britain and the United States, according to information released by the World Health Organization on Feb. 2.

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