The GHA’s COVID Laboratory has for the first time completed whole genome sequencing analysis on a current active Gibraltar case of COVID-19.

The sequencing test was run on the positive case of COVID-19 confirmed on Saturday. The results have confirmed that this case is from the Kent variant (B.1.1.7),* a variant already established in Gibraltar for a number of months. According to a study from Public Health England, two doses of the Pfizer vaccine provides 93% effectiveness against this B.1.1.7 strain.

The GHA’s COVID Laboratory will share these results with the UK genome sequencing consortium based at Cambridge University, contributing to global knowledge of COVID variants and transmission patterns.

Minister for Health, the Hon Samantha Sacramento, said: “Having this genome sequencing service available to us in Gibraltar has meant that we have identified the exact strain of COVID-19 of Saturday’s positive case within 72 hours. This gives us an important advantage in reducing risk and tracking and managing transmission.”