South Africa News

University of WC scientists to showcase progress made in fighting COVID

University of the Western Cape (UWC) researchers will over the coming three days showcase work they’ve done in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first day of the campus’ 5th Annual Research Week started on Tuesday with researchers reflecting on the past 18 months of the pandemic.

Scientists have stressed the importance of having the right tools at hand to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Associate lecturer in virology, Dr Tasnim Suliman, was the first scientist in South Africa in May last year to produce a laboratory culture of the coronavirus.

“We essentially need to know how the virus works if we are ever going to consider combating it. At which stage, do we inhibit the virus, is it an entry or is it during the replication process? What targets, do we need in order to be able to aim at in terms of therapeutic agents?” said Dr Suliman.

As part of his presentation, UWC Virologist Professor Bertram Fielding, emphasised the key role immunization plays in bringing the pandemic under control.

“Vaccine is extremely effective in protecting you from hospitalisation, severe disease and death,” he said.

SAHPRA CEO Doctor Boitumelo Semete-Makokotlela will later this week give an update on the regulator’s vaccine authorization process.

-EWN

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