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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Saudi Gazette report
RIYADH — Saudi Arabia has detected the full genetic sequencing for the novel coronavirus at the laboratories of the Saudi Center for Disease Prevention and Control (Saudi CDC) Weqaya.
Dr. Abdullah Al-Quweizani, CEO of Weqaya, said the sequencing was established from positive cases of the COVID-19 disease, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Thursday.
The Weqaya announced on March 18, 2020, the start of a study into the new coronavirus using the “next generation” of genetic sequencing techniques.
Dr. Al-Quweizani said: “Analyzing the genes of the novel coronavirus (hCoV-19) is important for understanding the development of the new coronavirus and knowing how it spreads.”
He added: “The novel coronavirus is deemed among the nascent viruses. Hence, it is important to determine where it originated and the source for its entry into the Kingdom, tracking the course of its spread in the Kingdom, its mutation and monitoring the global development of the virus.”
Studying and knowing the genetic sequencing of the new coronavirus and the information related to this field will help in discovering the pattern for the spread of the virus and comparing it with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) that appeared in 2012. It will also help in developing the vaccines and anti-viral drugs to counter the new coronavirus.”
Weqaya aims to prevent and control infectious and non-communicable diseases, injuries and other health hazards, while monitoring, measuring and evaluating population health and risks to the Kingdom.
It also puts in place policies and programs, provides innovative public health solutions based on scientific evidence, and works as a reference body for public health initiatives.
Weqaya also plays an important role in the prevention of contagious diseases threatening public health by continuous monitoring and follow-up of several cases, assessing the risks and coming up with programs and plans to eradicate the virus or viruses.
Weqaya was set up following a Council of Ministers' decision to become one of the health institutions tasked with achieving some of the health aspects and goals in the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, in terms of preventing and combating diseases.
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