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Bangladesh scientists sequence genome of novel coronavirus

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The scientists of Child Health Research Foundation (CHRF) have sequenced the genome of a strain of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 in Bangladesh.

They have submitted the findings to the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data after completing the work led by microbiologist Senjuti Saha, reports

The new coronavirus, which causes a respiratory illness COVID-19, has claimed more than 285,000 lives globally and infected over 4.22 million. In Bangladesh, the number of COVID-19 cases has surged past 16,600 with 250 fatalities.

But there is still no vaccine or specific proven treatment for the disease. Scientists across the world are racing against time to find the vaccine and treatments. Virus genome sequencing is difficult but crucial to understand it and find a cure, CHRF said in a media release on Tuesday.   

The CHRF project was assisted by the Directorate General of Health Services, Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Chan Zuckerberg Biohub.

Samir Kumar Saha, the executive director of CHRF, said that they hoped to complete genome sequencing of more samples in the next two weeks.

“It will help us understand which vaccine or treatment might be effective,” he said.

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