Department of Health and Social Care
PHE reaches crucial step in fully sequencing novel coronavirus
Scientists at Public Health England (PHE) have fully sequenced the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) viral genome.
Scientists at Public Health England (PHE) are supporting the scientific community as it traces the source of the virus, how it has developed and interventions to help treat it.
The UK was one of the first countries outside China to have an assured testing capability for the novel coronavirus. PHE has since rapidly developed further specific tests in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO) and a global network of laboratories.
The publication of the sequence by PHE provides valuable information on any mutations in the virus over time and allows an improved understanding of how the virus spreads.
The new sequencing in the UK cases illustrates that so far the virus has not evolved to better infect humans since the sequence was first published by China.
Matt Hancock, Health Secretary yesterday said:
I’m proud UK scientists are at the forefront of the global research effort - this is a vital step forward in the international fight against novel coronavirus.
By sequencing this virus’s genome we can better understand the roots of this disease, predict its behaviour, and learn how tackle it. We are excited to share this knowledge across the scientific community and will continue to work closely with partners around the world.
Prof Yvonne Doyle, Medical Director at Public Health England, yesterday said:
This is a crucial step in helping us understand this virus. Genome sequencing means that we can see where it came from, how it’s developing and determine the interventions that aid treatment.
These data play an integral part in helping the scientific community in tackling this global problem.
Latest News from
Department of Health and Social Care
Taking multiple medicines? Support the Yellow Card scheme by reporting suspected side effects18/02/2020 10:10:10
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) launches a week long social media campaign to raise awareness about the importance of reporting suspected side effects using the Yellow Card Scheme.
Mumps outbreaks across England14/02/2020 13:05:00
Public Health England and NHS England urge people to ensure they have 2 doses of measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine as mumps cases rise to highest levels in a decade.
New bill gives hospitals power to develop personalised treatment13/02/2020 14:10:00
The Medicines and Medical Devices Bill introduces new safety measures, increases the professions that can prescribe low-risk medicines and allows hospitals to develop personalised medicines.
Coronavirus: Health Secretary's statement to Parliament12/02/2020 15:10:00
The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock updated Parliament on the government's response to coronavirus (11 February 2020).
Storage limit for frozen eggs, sperm and embryos to be reconsidered12/02/2020 13:10:00
The government is seeking views on reviewing the current 10-year storage limit for eggs, sperm and embryos, to give more people the opportunity to start a family.
Government to monitor impact of coronavirus on UK medicine supply12/02/2020 11:33:00
The Department of Health and Social Care is evaluating the potential impact of coronavirus on the supply of medicines and medical goods.
My Right to Healthcare12/02/2020 10:10:10
Groundswell and the LHHP have produced ‘My Right to Healthcare’ cards which explain to GP surgeries the rights of homeless people to register for primary care.
Government considers more flexible training for healthcare professionals switching discipline11/02/2020 14:51:00
People who are already working as healthcare professionals could train to become doctors and nurses more quickly now that the UK has left the EU.