Ukraine's Deputy Health Minister, Chief Medical Officer Viktor Liashko has said the PCR systems and the testing process will be changed by late December due to the new COVID-19 variant recorded in the UK.
The UK is set to publish research on the change in primers (short strains of dna or rna targets) of the new coronavirus on December 27.
"In late December, the Public Health Center will gather all manufacturers of PCR test systems, as well as suppliers, and will talk about changing primers to change our PCR systems and add a target that will spot the protein of the new virus," he said at a briefing on Tuesday.
Liashko assures the test systems that are used in Ukraine are capable of detecting new variants of the coronavirus. He said he wants to refute the fake that allegedly Ukrainian laboratories, when conducting research to identify the coronavirus by polymerase chain reaction, use test systems that do not spot mutated variants of the virus.
"After a statement that was made public in the UK, the World Health Organization drew the attention of all countries to revise their test systems, specifically on their targeting of the S-virus spike gene," he said.
Read alsoKyiv mayor reports over 1,100 new COVID-19 cases as of Dec 22According to the health official, at the onset of the pandemic, Ukraine adhered to WHO recommendations and allowed the use of test systems that determine the RNA of a virus with several strains.
"Today, even if a new variant appears, our test systems will work, and we will clearly identify and diagnose coronavirus disease," Liashko said.
Also, he noted that testing will be intensified in Ukraine to establish whether a new mutated coronavirus is circulating in the country.
"To this end, appropriate recommendations have been provided, special attention will be paid to people with symptoms of coronavirus disease who have visited the UK during the incubation period or were in contact with people who had been to the UK. And if tests return positive, the virus isolate will be taken from them and further passed on for sequencing so that we could examine the genome and say whether the virus circulates in Ukraine or not," Liashko added.
On December 14, UK Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matthew Hancock said that a new strain of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus had been identified in the country. It is more transmissible than others in circulation.
On December 15, the danger of the new COVID-19 strain was assessed by the World Health Organization.
On December 20, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson noted that the new virus could be 70% more infectious.
After that, a number of countries decided to restrict transport services with Britain.
Meanwhile, it became known that the new strain appeared in the UK way back in September and began to actively spread since the middle of November.