Covid-19 Update


Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the causative etiology of Corona Virus Disease-2019 (COVID-19); formerly referred as novel-Coronavirus-2019. Viruses of the coronaviridae family are RNA viruses with enveloped genomes of linear single-stranded plus strands and are widely distributed in nature [1]. SARS-CoV-2 is the seventh member of the family of coronaviruses that can cause infections in humans, termed as COVID-19, which is now a global pandemic. Previously, six types of coronavirus that could infect humans were identified, namely, HCoV-229E, HCoV-OC43, HCoV-NL63, HCoV-HKU1, SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV. A novel type of coronavirus was accidentally discovered in Wuhan in December 2019, which is now known as SARS-CoV-2. These viruses can cause gastrointestinal, respiratory, and neurological symptoms [2]. Based on the current epidemiological survey, the incubation period for SARS-CoV-2 is 1-14 days. Fever, fatigue and dry cough are the main symptoms of COVID-19 [3].
SARS-CoV-2 is sensitive to ultraviolet radiation and heat treatment (30 min at 56?C). Chemicals such as ether, 75% ethanol, chlorine-containing disinfectants,  peracetic acid and chloroform can effectively inactivate the virus; however, chlorhexidine cannot inactivate the COVID-19 [4, 5]. The sequence of SARS- CoV-2 is 96% identical to that of the coronavirus that infects bats [6]. Therefore, it is assumed that bats are the main source of the virus. Current evidence collectively shows that the virus was transmitted to humans through wildlife that was illegally sold in the South China seafood wholesale market [7].
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared it as Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) due to its rapid transmission and causing public and health-care-related casualties worldwide. According to the WHO, viral diseases continue to emerge with novel strands and represent a serious issue to public health globally [8]. Currently vaccine candidates are applied and antiviral drugs for prevention and control of the deadly novel coronavirus disease are in progress. The outbreaks of SARS-CoV, MERS- CoV and SARS-CoV-2, propose that coronaviruses cause an enduring threat to human life even in the modern era.
The best hope we can rely on is that the outbreak will ultimately come to a control and the population's immune memory for the coronavirus i.e., herd immunity will naturally control further spread, lessons are to be learned from this pandemic and we should prepare well in advance and initiate appropriate preventive measure for exotic viruses in the future [9]. When an epidemic occurs, it is necessary to act quickly, discover and isolate the pathogen to develop improved diagnostic methods. In the early phase of disease outbreak, improving the treatment efficiency and clinical characteristics, defining suspected patients and places, inventing the diagnostic measures, analyzing transmission patterns, making a proper quarantine strategy and isolating infectious patients are all the essential priorities to address and rapidly implement to avoid catastrophic effect.
At City Medical Complex (CMC), we use BGI kits using MGISP-960 high-throughput automated sample preparation system is a flexible, fully automated workstation with 96-channel pipette. MGISP-960 has validated lots of library kits, including WES/WGS/RNA libraries. MGISP-960 has fully automatic operation design, realize walk-away process, can be customized according to customer needs. It is an efficient and widely used automated sample preparation system globally. MGISP-960 support customized development according to different needs.

Niaz M. Achakzai
PCR Lab II supervisor
City Medical Complex, Kabul



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