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Pakistan

Web Desk
January 28, 2021

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

Pakistan

Web Desk
Thu, Jan 28, 2021
The genome sequencing machine Pakistan will be buying. Photo: Courtesy Punjab primary and secondary healthcare department

In a first, a genome sequencing machine is being purchased by Punjab to help identify news strains of COVID-19 in 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 buy the genetic sequencing technology.

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

“Punjab will be the first province to buy a gene sequencing machine,” said Captain (r) Muhammad Usman Younis, secretary of the primary and secondary healthcare department, in a press statement.

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