Italian scientists isolate DNA sequence of coronavirus

Europe

03 February 2020, 11:26

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A hospital in Rome announced on Sunday that it has isolated the DNA sequence of the coronavirus.

Visiting the Lazzaro Spallanzani National Institute for Infectious Diseases, Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza said the discovery will be immediately made available to the entire international community in the interests of taking further measures against the outbreak.

“Having isolated the virus means that we’ll have many more opportunities to study it, to understand it and to better test what can be proved effective to contain its spread,” Speranza told reporters. “All of our knowledge and the images of the isolated virus will be promptly shared with the international community”

A former director-general of the World Health Organization on Sunday praised the Chinese government, medical workers and scientists for their open, effective and transparent efforts in battling against the new virus epidemic.

The University of Macau has stepped up the development of a a rapid test kit developed with patented technology. They say the whole virus detection process can now be completed within 30 minutes.

Meanwhile the newly-built Huoshenshan Hospital, one of two emergency field clinics, was handed over to a medical team of the People’s Liberation Army on Sunday in the city of Wuhan, epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak. It has room for up to a thousand beds and the first patients were due to arrive on Monday.

The hospital is based on the model of the Xiaotangshan Hospital in Beijing, a hospital China built during the SARS epidemic in 2003 that treated one seventh of the nation’s SARS patients.

The Chinese Air Force has carried out one of its biggest non-combat operations in a decade. Eight planes landed in Wuhan on Sunday, with nearly 800 medical workers and 58 tonnes of supplies.

Chinese health authorities announced Sunday that 14,380 confirmed cases of pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus had been reported in 31 provincial-level regions and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps by the end of Saturday. At least 305 people have died of the disease.

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