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Vietnam, UK discuss capacity of genomics in tackling the Covid-19 pandemic

Malie Nguyen Malie Nguyen

Dieuhuong270198@gmail.com

March 27, 2021 | 06:38

The workshop “Importance of genomics in tackling the Covid-19 pandemic” was held by the British Embassy in Vietnam on March 26 in Hanoi.

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The workshop is of special importance in the context that monitoring new virus strains is more imperative than ever to ensure the effectiveness of vaccines, as well as the testing and treatment. Photo: The World &Vietnam Report

The workshop saw the participation of the representatives from the Health Ministry, World Health Organization (WHO), Oxford University Clinical Research Unit (OUCRU), the U.S Center for Disease Control, according to the World &Vietnam Report.

Besides, the workshop was attended by experts from institutions in public health research, molecular biology, and vaccine development in Vietnam such as the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, Ho Chi Minh City Pasteur Institute, Nha Trang Pasteur Institute.

The workshop aims to recognize the importance of the technical capacities of genomic sequencing and analysis in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Delegates discussed opportunities to enhance the professional capacity and strengthen Vietnam's role in sharing data on SARS-CoV-2 genomic sequencing. Delegates also underscored the close connection between researches and policies; at the same time detecting and evaluating opportunities to foster international cooperation in response to Covid-19 and other epidemics.

Speaking at the workshop, British Ambassador to Vietnam Gareth Ward said “Vaccine is only half of the job. Discovering and monitoring virus variants are also important so that we can promptly respond to the pandemic. The international community gives the priority to sharing data transparently. The UK has experience in this aspect and is willing to share it with partners.”

Professor Guy Thwaites, Director of the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit shared: “Currently, many countries have limitations in scientific expertise in genomic sequencing and then share this data with the international community. The equipment for genomic sequencing is not too expensive, but operating them requires many special skills.

Professor Le Thi Quynh Mai, Deputy Director at National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology presented the application of genomic research to analyze the traits of SARS-CoV-2. Meanwhile, PhD. Nguyen Vu Thuong, Deputy Director of HCMC Pasteur Institute presented the significance of genetic sequencing in Covid-19 prevention and control.

Speakers affirmed that the workshop is of special importance in the context that monitoring new virus strains is more imperative than ever to ensure the effectiveness of vaccines, as well as the testing and treatment.

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Malie Nguyen