Brazil to invest R$ 10 million in research into the new Coronavirus

Posted by Marina
The Minister of Science, Technology, Innovations and Communications, Marcos Pontes, informed this Monday (3) that the federal government plans to invest R $ 10 million via the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) in research aimed at mapping and sequencing of the new coronavirus.

According to Pontes, the amount is still a forecast and should be applied in 2020. The information was released after a conference call about the new coronavirus with ministers of Science and Technology from eight other countries (Germany, Canada, South Korea, United States, India, England, Italy, Japan and New Zealand).

In February, the folder created the Virus Network, a research network involving scientists and laboratories to help tackle emerging viruses, with an initial focus on coronavirus and influenza. The group is made up of specialists and representatives from the Ministry of Health, scientific entities and research units.

Minister Marcos Pontes said in an interview to the vehicles of the Empresa Brasil de Comunicação (EBC):
“The idea is to work with the Ministry of Health to allocate resources so that this network can carry out research. It will certainly help in terms of modeling this virus, in mapping and sequencing this genome and many other possibilities in terms of treatment, clinical tests. So, Brazil can contribute a lot ”

The research network will be coordinated by the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communications (MCTIC) and will define an agenda of research priorities and future actions to help combat viruses in the country. The work should be restricted to the field of scientific research, as an aid and complement to the initiatives of the Ministry of Health.

Ministers of Science

According to Marcos Pontes, the group of science ministers discussed ways to exchange information about the new coranavirus between countries and how collaboration between countries can take place.

“We deal with three issues: what we are doing in each of these countries in terms of research to assist the health sector itself. Second: how can we exchange data; and third, how we can collaborate with different countries ”, explained Pontes. The group of ministers is part of the Carnegie Group of Science Advisers, created in 1991 to bring together science ministers from different countries annually.

According to the minister, the group has been working on mapping and identifying the origin of the new coronavirus.

“Research and development has a series of factors that work in the search to identify the virus, the genome, the modeling. With this type of identification, we can get an idea of ​​where it comes from, what kind of virus we received here in Brazil. It is important for us to be aware of this spread ”, he added.

Pontes predicts that the group will keep in touch, by teleconference, weekly.