Russian researchers fully decode COVID-19 genome

# 18:32
19 March 2020

Russian scientists from the Smorodintsev Research Institute of Influenza have managed to decode the first full genome of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the Russian Health Ministry informed on Thursday, APA reports citing TASS.

"Specialists of the Smorodintsev Research Institute of Influenza with the Russian Health Ministry sequenced the first full genome of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in Russia from the material taken from a COVID-19 patient," the message informs.

Acting Director of the Smorodintsev Research Institute of Influenza Dmitry Lioznov stated that genetical research would help scientists understand the nature and the evolution of the virus, which would in turn contribute to the development of a vaccine and treatment methods. "This coronavirus is new to us, so it is crucial to have an opportunity to determine the pattern of its spread and entry on the territory of our country, and the way the virus changes. This information will help us work out vaccines and antiviral drugs to treat the coronavirus," the ministry’s press service quotes Lioznov as saying.

The Health Ministry informed that the data had been sent to an international database used by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the world’s leading research teams monitoring the global evolution of the novel coronavirus.