The British government and the Pasteur Institute of Montevideo, Uruguay, have announced they will be working jointly in an agreement that will help advance the genome-sequencing of Covid-19 project, through techniques under development in Uruguay, using British technology, and thus providing this capacity to several countries in the region.
The announcement was made during a meeting of James Dauris, Head of the Latin American Department, from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, currently visiting Uruguay, with the Director of the Pasteur Institute Montevideo, Carlos Batthyany, Uruguayan Health minister Daniel Salinas and Deputy minister Jose Luis Satdjian
Health minister Salinas said that through collaboration from both countries, the intention is for Uruguay to become a regional hub of scientific knowledge and added value. Many countries in Latin America and the Caribbean need a knowledge support plus labs, for the gnome-sequencing and the follow up of different plagues and viruses. We are betting on Uruguayan knowledge quality to provide them.
The data and analysis generated will provide public health staff a set of tools to assess the political answers to the pandemic, will supply an early alert system to face new variants, and guarantee the world scientific community will benefit through quality information, which for example, will help guarantee that vaccines continue to be the adequate for any new variants.
Dauris underlined that combating the pandemic has shown the importance of international collaboration. We are proud to work with the Pasteur Institute Montevideo to increase the capacity of making genome-sequencing in Uruguay, and thus support countries in the region in their fight against the pandemic
Pasteur Institute Montevideo chief Batthyany said that ”it was an honor for the Institute and we are very pleased to continue collaborating with the British Embassy, (as with other countries), with the purpose of improving the scientific networks in South America. We are analyzing the economic support offered by the British government to boost genome vigilance in real time in the region, measuring the capacity of the Institute to make such vigilance for Uruguay, besides other countries in the region”
The project, involving some US$ 100,000 will be in charge of the Epidemiologic Vigilance Innovation Center, CIVE, to which the British government contributed funds for its foundation in 2020, together with the governments of France and the United States besides private organizations, corporations and citizens. The British Embassy and the Pasteur Institute Montevideo are drafting the agreement which they expect to have finalized and ready to sign very soon.