Scientists to help track UK spread of coronavirus

Welsh scientists are set to take a leading role in mapping the spread of coronavirus as part of a £20m project announced today by the UK’s chief scientific adviser.

The COVID-19 Genomics UK Consortium (COG-UK) brings together experts from across the NHS, academia and public health agencies for large-scale, rapid sequencing and analysis of the disease.

This information can then be quickly shared with hospitals, the NHS and the government to help inform their response to the pandemic.

The £20m funding will create Wales’s only COVID-19 sequencing centre, comprised of a team of Cardiff University and Public Health Wales (PHW) scientists.

Cardiff University’s Dr Tom Connor, who will lead the Cardiff sequencing centre, said: “Genomic sequencing will help us to understand coronavirus and its spread.

“By analysing samples from people who have had confirmed cases of COVID-19, scientists can monitor changes in the virus at a national scale to understand how the virus is spreading and whether different strains are emerging.

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