Indonesian institute finishes sequencing coronavirus strain
JAKARTA — The Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology has finished the first complete genome sequence of coronavirus samples from Indonesia. The new information is expected to help scientists better understand the particular strain of the virus that has swept across the country.
Eijkman Institute director Amin Soebandrio said the genetic sequence could help scientists understand the virus strain’s mutations, identify its origins and conduct fast and effective contact tracing to reduce its spread. He said the information could also help in the development of a vaccine.
“[The genetic sequence] can help a lot with contact tracing. Right now contact tracing is done by epidemiological guessing: who [an infected person] came into contact with, ” Amin told The Jakarta Post on Monday (May 4).
“With the molecular data, we can know whether the virus that is found in Pekanbaru, for example, is the same or similar to the one in Surabaya or Makassar, and we can trace the movement of the virus.”
He said the sequencing process had begun two weeks ago despite the fact that the institute had been collecting coronavirus samples since March.
“We were fully occupied with testing.”
On Monday, the institute submitted the data to GISAID, an initiative that promotes the sharing of genetic data on influenza viruses and the coronavirus.
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