Fiocruz opens virus research unit targeting “future emergencies”

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The Osvaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) inaugurated this Monday (13) the Biobanco Covid-19, a processing and storage unit for virus samples on its extension campus, in the northern part of the state capital.

The goal is to intensify research seeking greater knowledge about viral structures, variants and vaccine development.

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The project, which has an area of ​​1.1 thousand square meters and received an investment of R$ 40 million from the Ministry of Health, is perceived by specialists as a large national library of genetic material, with the capacity to store 1.5 million samples.

It comes into operation in a scenario in which the Ômicron variant is of concern to health authorities and reaches several countries, including Brazil.

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The Minister of Health, Marcelo Queiroga, participated in the event and stated that the unit can help to combat current and future strains of the new coronavirus that may emerge.

“Brazil signed a commitment at the G20 to strengthen the health system so that we can face not only this emergency but others, whether due to mutations of this virus or others. There have already been 11 cases of Ômicron identified in the country, there are certainly more”, said Queiroga.

Fiocruz’s president, Nísia Trindade, said that the unit will provide tools for the country to respond more quickly to urgent problems related to public health.

“This inauguration has a special meaning for surveillance actions in our country,” he said. “A very delicate construction to face this emergency, and for the future. This is the fundamental agenda, to be ready for future emergencies”, he stated.

Reference: CNN Brasil

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