After setting up the Swiss SARS-CoV-2 data hub, SIB is now co-leading an international project to facilitate open sharing of viral genomic sequences in other countries. Through SIB, Switzerland will thus be sharing its experience setting up and using a national viral genomics platform. The initiative gathers about 20 countries across Europe, as well as South Africa. The goal of this work package is to harness viral genomes from national sequencing efforts in Europe and beyond, and convert them into open data resources. This will in turn help improve COVID-19 research efficiency, variant surveillance and general pandemic preparedness.
Be better prepared for future pandemics
Other aspects essential to ensure the optimal coordination among countries in the fight against COVID-19 and beyond, will be addressed in the project: the set-up of a controlled vocabulary to name future variants and lineages; strengthening the adoption of the processes to upload data on the European COVID-19 Data Portal; the development of variant analysis tools and capacity building, etc. The infrastructure thus developed will enable preparedness for any other infectious disease and pandemic.