Chile to strengthen search for new variants of COVID-19 through genetic sequencing


The Chilean Ministry of Health announced on Saturday that it will strengthen the search for new variants of COVID-19, with the genomic sequencing of 500 samples a week to investigate the cause of the new wave of infections that is affecting the country.

“So far, the Brazilian and the British variants have been detected in Chile. We were doing 176 sequences a week and, for next week, we are going to sequence 500 samples to try to search for any new or strange strains that may explain the increase in cases,” said Minister of Health Enrique Paris.

The government this week decreed the closure of borders for a month to prevent the spread of the virus after a recent increase in cases.

According to the ministry, a total of 1,019,478 cases had been registered in the country, and this Saturday, 8,028 new cases were detected, the second day in a row Chile registered over 8,000 infections.

Additionally, another 103 deaths were reported, bringing the death toll to 23,524.

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