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2021.03.01 10:23

Lithuania expands virus genome sequencing to track mutations

BNS2021.03.01 10:23

Lithuania is expanding genome sequencing testing this week to track coronavirus mutations, Danas Bakša, director of the country's National Public Health Surveillance Laboratory, said.

“Currently, sequencing testing is being done by the laboratories of Kaunas Clinics and Santaros Clinics. As of March 1, the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences and Vilnius University join the list of laboratories,” Bakša told the LRT RADIO on Monday.

“Santaros Clinics plan to carry out 384 tests a week, and Kaunas Clinics plan to do 96, and the university laboratories plan to do 24 tests over two weeks each. The reference laboratory of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control now accepts some 200 samples a week,” he said.

The results will help better contain the spread of the virus, according to Bakša, and assess the efficacy of vaccines.

Eleven cases of the new British coronavirus variant, which spreads faster, were confirmed in Lithuania last week after 96 samples were tested.