Belfast MedTech organisations are helping the world understand the Covid-19 virus

  • Queen's University Belfast and the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust have been praised for their part in a nation-wide MedTech consortium analysing the spread and behaviour of the Covid-19 virus.

    NI Health Minister Robin Swann has praised the efforts of the Belfast-based MedTech organisations helping the world understand the Covid-19 virus through genome sequencing. The UK-wide Covid-19 Genomics UK consortium (COG-UK) includes Queen's University Belfast and the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust.

    The consortium was created to help track the spread of the Covid-19 virus as it spreads by analysing the whole viral genome of samples on a large scale. The virus periodically undergoes small mutations as it spreads, and that can be used to track lines of transmission between countries and find out how infections are spreading.

    The Belfast hub for COG-UK is being led by Dr David Simpson from Queen’s University and Dr Derek Fairley and Dr Tanya Curran from Belfast Trust. The group has been doing research to understand the behaviour of Covid-19 and improve global understanding of the virus, with teh goal if informing health policy and improving management of the virus around the world.

    Dr David Simpson, commented on the partnership: "This has been a great opportunity for Queen's to team up with the Belfast Trust in bringing rapid DNA sequencing technology to the forefront of efforts to track and understand the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The data generated by COG-UK is already informing the management of Covid-19."

    Source: Written based on press release

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