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Germany to Increase Viral Sequencing

Germany plans to boost its SARS-CoV-2 sequencing efforts, according to Reuters.

It adds that other countries like the UK and Denmark have robust coronavirus sequencing operations. The UK, for instance, began sequencing SARS-CoV-2 samples early in the pandemic through its COVID-19 Genomics UK consortium, and, last month, spotted a new variant that appears to be more easily transmitted.

A new draft order from the German Health Ministry would now require that 5 percent of patient samples that test positive for SARS-CoV-2 be sent for sequencing, Reuters reports, noting that the UK sequences between 5 percent and 10 percent of its positive samples. It adds that Germany would further provide laboratories €200 (US $243) for each sample sequenced.

"The 5 percent strike rate is quite doable," Evangelos Kotsopoulos, a board member of ALM, association of German diagnostic labs, tells Reuters. "The capacity is there, the equipment is there, the people are there."