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๐—ข๐—™๐—™๐—œ๐—–๐—œ๐—”๐—Ÿ ๐—Ÿ๐—”๐—จ๐—ก๐—–๐—› ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฆ๐—”๐—ฅ๐—ฆ-๐—–๐—ผ๐—ฉ-๐Ÿฎ ๐—š๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ผ๐—บ๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐˜€ ๐—•๐—ถ๐—ผ๐˜€๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—ถ๐—น๐—น๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฐ๐—ฒ

The University of the Philippines (UP), through its Philippine Genome Center (PGC) in UP Visayas and in UP Mindanao, on March 11, 2022 announced that it is now capable of sequencing the genome of SARS-CoV-2 from community samples in both island groups. 

The fully-equipped satellite facilities, made possible through the joint efforts of UP, Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Health (DOH), and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), have begun genome sequencing services of nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal swab samples from DOH-licensed COVID-19 testing laboratories in cooperation with the DOH – Epidemiology Bureau (DOH-EB), to detect SARS-CoV-2 variants circulating in the Visayas and Mindanao regions.

Themed, ๐——๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐˜„๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐—–๐—ผ๐—น๐—น๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐˜๐—ถ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ ๐—ฆ๐˜๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ด๐˜๐—ต๐˜€ ๐—ณ๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐—ฃ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—บ๐—ถ๐—ฐ ๐—ฃ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฝ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜€โ€”the expansion of the genomic biosurveillance capacity in Visayas and Mindanao was established to increase the number of weekly samples from around the archipelago for ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ ๐˜จ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ฒ๐˜ถ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ค๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ, and to address the logistical challenges of having the samples be transported from labs around the country to the genome center in Diliman.๐Ÿงฌ This is made possible through the support of the Department of Health (Philippines), Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST PCHRD), University of the Philippines System, and the Philippine Genome Center together with its satellite facilities in the Visayas (Philippine Genome Center Visayas) and Mindanao (Philippine Genome Center Mindanao), as well as funding support from the Department of Budget and Management.

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