UK launched Global Platform to track new COVID-19 variants

The United Kingdom has launched a New Global Platform to track the new COVID-19 variants. The platform will provide world-leading genomics expertise from the country to identify the new variants of the virus.

Highlights

  • The platform was launched as part of the UK’s Presidency of the G7.
  • In the line, the UK also put forward the vision for a stronger, more collaborative and effective global health system to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure that the international community is better prepared for future threats.
  • The platform will help to better understand the virus. It will also help to understand how it spreads.
  • The platform is led by the Public Health England (PHE) that also worked with NHS Test & Trace, academic partners and the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) SARS-CoV-2 Global Laboratory Working Group.
  • It will also be led by the National Institute for Health Protection (NIHP) and will involve the PHE laboratories and staff.

New Variant of Corona Virus

The Variant of Concern 202012/01 is the new variant of the Corona virus (SARS-CoV-2). The new variant is also known as lineage B.1.1.7, 20I/501Y.V1 and it is commonly known as UK coronavirus variant since the virus emerged in the UK. The new variant is 36%–75% more transmissible than wild-type SARS-CoV-2. The virus was first detected in November 2020 from a sample taken in September 2020.  The virus started to spread quickly in mid-December.

SARS-CoV-2 virus

SARS-CoV-2 is the abbreviation for “Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2”. The virus caused the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)

It is a contagious disease which is caused by SARS-CoV-2. The first case of the disease was identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, China. The disease spread across the world from which the world is still recovering. Symptoms of COVID-19 are variable which begin one to fourteen days after exposure to the virus.

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