Isolating and growing the SARS-Cov-2 can help Turkey pave its own way towards improving diagnosis and treatment methods.
Researchers at a Turkish lab have successfully isolated the SARS-Cov-2 virus from a sample retrieved from a coronavirus patient, said the head of Erciyes University Vaccine Research and Development Centre on Wednesday.
Professor Dr Aykut Ozdarendeli said the virus was grown in a cell culture at a Biosafety Level-3 lab – a space specially designed for studying infectious agents that can cause serious illness.
With the successful isolation of SARS-Cov-2 virus, Turkey joins a short list of countries working towards a possible vaccine.
Ozdarendeli emphasised this development will not only accelerate studies for developing a vaccine against Covid-19 but will also pave the way towards improving diagnosis and treatment methods.
On Sunday, Ankara University also announced that Biotechnology Institute Professor Dr Aykut Ozkul had managed to isolate the SARS-Cov-2 virus.
Health Minister Fahrettin Koca congratulated Ozdarendeli and Ozkul for their achievements, which are seen as the first step towards the development of a vaccine or medicine to fight the disease.
AŞI ÇALIŞMALARI İÇİN öncelikle başarılması gereken, virüsün izole edilmesiydi. İki bilim adamımız bunu başarmış durumdalar. Erciyes Üniversitesi’nden Prof. Dr. AYKUT ÖZDARENDELİ Hocamızı, Ankara Üniversitesi’nden Prof. Dr. AYKUT ÖZKUL Hocamızı halkımız adına kutluyorum. pic.twitter.com/PGYCsVosxw
— Dr. Fahrettin Koca (@drfahrettinkoca) April 8, 2020
Turkey has so far reported 38,226 Covid-19 cases and a total of 812 fatalities.
Since the virus emerged last December in the Chinese city of Wuhan, it has spread to at least 184 countries and regions.
There are more than 1.5 million confirmed infections worldwide and more than 88,500 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Nearly 331,000 people have recovered from the virus.