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English Section

Polish scientists isolate Covid-19 virus strain in global race for cure

19.03.2020 09:00
A team of Polish scientists has isolated the virus that causes the Covid-19 disease using a sample taken from the country’s first patient to have tested positive, state news agency PAP has reported.
Grzegorz Juszczyk.
Grzegorz Juszczyk.Photo: PAP/Wojciech Olkuśnik

The researchers—from the Małopolska Centre of Biotechnology at the Jagiellonian University in the southern city of Kraków and the National Institute of Public Health/National Institute of Hygiene (NIZP-PZH) in Warsaw—are now working to isolate the SARS-CoV-2 virus from samples collected from other patients, the news agency reported.

 “Such research is very important for tracing the development of the epidemic," said Grzegorz Juszczyk, director of the Warsaw-based National Institute of Public Health/National Institute of Hygiene, as cited by PAP.

Identifying local virus strains will make it possible to track the spread of the epidemic and more quickly respond to any future modifications in the virus, Juszczyk told the news agency.

He added that such studies could prove to be helpful in developing drugs, treatment regimens and diagnostic methods.

The genome sequence of the virus will soon be shared with the global research community through public databases, Juszczyk said as scientists around the world struggle to develop treatments and a vaccine for the Covid-19 disease, which has killed thousands around the world.

In one such effort, an award-winning Polish researcher has reportedly identified a key enzyme that could help develop a way to crack down on the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

A total of 305 people have tested positive for the virus in Poland, with five deaths from the illness so far, health authorities said on Thursday morning. 

The Polish health ministry reported on Wednesday that 923 people with suspected coronavirus infection were in hospitals nationwide, with a further 21,993 quarantined, 35,192 ordered to self-isolate after arriving from abroad, and 40,110 under epidemiological supervision.

Globally, the virus has now infected more than 200,000 people and killed over 8,800, according to news reports.


Source: PAP