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More than 100,000 Coronavirus samples genomically sequenced by Welsh Pathogen Genomics Unit

Published: 3 October 2021

The world-leading Pathogen Genomics Unit (PenGU) at Public Health Wales has now genomically sequenced more than 100,000 COVID-19 samples.

The data that comes from the sequencing of the samples is vital in monitoring how the virus is developing in Wales, and to identify new variants and what effect they may have on how the virus behaves.

Dr Fu-Meng Khaw, National Director of Health Protection and Screening Services and Executive Medical Director for Public Health Wales, said: “The team at PenGU have worked incredibly hard over the course of the pandemic in order to deliver a world class genomic service for Wales.  Their work has underpinned the scientific data that has been used by Public Health Wales in advising policy colleagues to help protect the people of Wales, and having such a high proportion of samples genomically sequenced in such a timely manner has meant that we have been able to remain vigilant on new variants of COVID and are able to take early public health action.

Dr Sally Corden, Head of PenGU, said:  “I am extremely proud of the way that everyone in the team has worked so hard to establish, deliver and run this service.  Wales is one of the world’s leading nations in genomics, and our work over the course of the pandemic has only enhanced that reputation. I would like to thank everyone in this amazing team for their hard work and dedication. This is a truly phenomenal milestone for a relatively small team.”