Life | Science

Canadian Scientists Make COVID-19 Research Breakthrough, Isolating Virus

The COVID-19 pandemic froze entire world. Thousands of people have died so far, and the rest of us are forced to stay home. Citizens are encouraged to isolate themselves from the rest of the world.

The World Health Organization declared a pandemic, and over 137,000 people tested positive for the virus. Over 5,000 people lost the battle with the virus. But, over 70,000 recovered from coronavirus.

Canadian scientists from Sunnybrook Hospital, McMaster University and the University of Toronto are closer to finding a vaccine. They isolated copies of the virus responsible for the pandemic.

They are convinced that this effort will help them develop vaccines and treatment for the virus.

“Now that we have isolated the SARS-CoV-2 virus [the agent responsible for COVID-19], we can share this with other researchers and continue this teamwork,” Dr. Arinjay Banerjee, NSERC post-doctoral fellow at McMaster University said. “The more viruses that are made available in this way, the more we can learn, collaborate and share.”

Dr. Samira Mubareka, microbiologist and infectious diseases physician at Sunnybrook explains that “we need key tools to develop solutions to this pandemic. While the immediate response is crucial, longer-term solutions come from essential research into this novel virus.”

Scientists used samples from two patients to replicate the virus at the University of Toronto.

Chinese scientists have already isolated the virus. Italian and Australian researchers have isolated and grown samples of coronavirus in their labs. However, viruses mutate and there are several strains of it. Scientists have to evaluate how quickly the virus mutates. How far will these mutations go?

Quebec-based biotech Medicago is working on a vaccine too. Eight Chinese institutes have developed five approaches to fight the coronavirus.

Chinese experts may find a vaccine in the next few weeks. It’s a promising claim, right? We can’t wait for the vaccine to come out, and you?