Genome center needs P100M to expand sequencing capacity in Visayas, Mindanao

Gaea Katreena Cabico - Philstar.com
Genome center needs P100M to expand sequencing capacity in Visayas, Mindanao
This undated handout image obtained March 28, 2021, courtesy of The National Institue of Allergy and Infectious Diseases/ NIH shows a transmission electron microscope image of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, isolated from a patient in the US, as virus particles are shown emerging from the surface of cells cultured in the lab, the spikes on the outer edge of the virus particles give coronaviruses their name, crown-like
Handout / National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases / AFP

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Genome Center, which leads the country’s biosurveillance efforts, needs P100 million to expand its capacity in the Visayas and Mindanao, an official said Wednesday.

Dr. Eva Maria Cutiongco-de la Paz, PGC director for health programs, said the center needs P50 million each for the two satellite facilities outside Metro Manila to be able to conduct whole genome sequencing, which checks the presence of COVID-19 variants in positive samples.

“The P50 million is needed for the satellite PGCs to start sequencing. Based on our computation, the budget can last until December,” she said in an interview on DZMM “Teleradyo.”

At present, samples are being sent to PGC’s main laboratory in the University of the Philippines Diliman.

“Once we capacitate PGC Visayas and Mindanao, these will help the regions. Samples will be sequenced there,” said De la Paz, who is also the executive director of the UP-National Institutes of Health.

Four variants of COVID-19—Alpha, Beta, Delta and Gamma, which the World Health Organization has classified as being “of concern”—have reached the Philippines. Health authorities also detected Theta variant, which has been classified under “alerts for further monitoring.”

The government is closely monitoring the highly-contagious Delta variant, which is driving spikes in cases in Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia. There are 119 detected cases of Delta variant in the Philippines.

vuukle comment


  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with