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Lessons for Building National Sequencing Networks

The COVID-19 Genomics UK Consortium is building a training program to help other countries, particularly developing nations, to establish sequencing pipelines to spot emerging viral variants, the Associated Press reports.

"We need to be prepared globally," Ewan Harrison, a senior research fellow at the Sanger Institute, tells the AP. "We can't just kind of put a fence around an individual country or parts of the world because that's just not going to cut it.''

COG-UK was established early in the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and that, the AP adds, has allowed the UK to sequence and track viral variants. The UK, it notes, has submitted 1.68 million viral sequences to the GISAID database, or about 11.7 percent of reported cases

With backing from the UK government and the Wellcome Connecting Science program, COG-UK is to offer online courses — the program is dubbed COG-Train — to help other countries develop national sequencing networks. The courses are to cover sampling, data sharing and linkage, and working with public health agencies, as well as operations and information governance.