Bangladesh has sequenced 304 genomes of COVID-19 up to now and submitted to Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Info (GISAID).
Professor Dr Aftab Ali Shaikh, chairman of Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Exploration (BCSIR), said this at a press meeting on Wednesday.
Different international organisations praised Bangladeshi scientists because of their achievements in genome sequencing of Covid-19 samples, Dr Aftab said.
“CNN’s senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen lately said countries with far fewer assets, including Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Suriname, had processed samples more quickly than the US.”
However, when asked in regards to a BCSIR scientist’s comment a new Covid-19 strain - similar to the one recently found in the UK - was detected in Bangladesh, he said, “We are still focusing on it.”
The UK and South Africa recently discovered new Covid-19 strains within their domestic cases.
“The variants were found using genome sequencing techniques that analyse the structure of the virus and discern mutations,” William A Haseltine, a former professor at Harvard Medical University and Harvard University of Public Health, said.
“These genome sequencing techniques were regularly used all over the world in the beginning of the pandemic whenever we knew less about the virus.”
“Genome sequencing is actually deciding the order of chemical substance ‘bases’ of a DNA molecule. Scientists make use of these sequences to identify genes, regulatory guidance, or regarding Covid-19, mutations to a virus,” Haseltine said.
“We must intensify genome sequencing in the US and worldwide. And then new variants should be determined and isolated. Else, we might be looking at an extremely long 12 months,” he maintained.