Published: 2021-07-01 13:50
Last Updated: 2022-05-17 09:32
The Swiss network of laboratories, Unilabs, the leading European diagnostic services provider, has created Wednesday a new PCR test that can specifically identify the new, more infectious Delta variant, and is working with health authorities to optimise public health measures accordingly.
The official in charge of managing the coronavirus department in Unilabs, Timoteo Guimarães, confirmed that due to the high transmissibility of the Delta strain, the department directed its staff to work on developing new tests capable of detecting this strain more easily, pointing out that the laboratories are using the same techniques they have developed to discover the mutated British strain.
“With the Delta variant spreading fast, and well on its way to becoming the dominant strain of Covid-19 in many parts of Europe, we put our teams to work and came up with a test that can reliably identify this variant,” said Timóteo Guimarães, who runs Unilabs' Covid-19 business unit. “We are using the same techniques we created to detect the Kent variant, and we expect to quickly track any future variants, too.”
Guimarães said they are keen to track any future virus mutations too.
He explained that the medical data obtained by Unilabs laboratories is now used to track the spread of the Delta strain and identify new strains in many countries, which helps health authorities to take the necessary measures to contain the spread of these strains.
The importance of Unilabs providing this new type of test comes in conjunction with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) announcement that the Delta mutation from the coronavirus is on its way to becoming the “dominant strain” in the world, as it constitutes 91 percent of cases registered in Britain, according to Public Health Authority data.