Canada manages to isolate the virus in Covid-19 breakthrough

By Knackles

Research staff working at Sunnybrook in conjunction with the University of Toronto and McMaster University have managed to isolate coronavirus.

In a press release, Dr Samira Mubareka, one of the staff at Sunnybrook, explained that competent and agile teamwork between the three organisations had materialised in its success. 

“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,” said Dr Mubareka, who is a microbiologist and infectious disease specialist. 

By successfully isolating SARS-CoV-2 (the technical name for coronavirus), scientists will now gain a clearer understanding of how to test, treat and potentially vaccinate against it. 

Understanding the extent of the problem

With 341 confirmed national cases as of the publication of this article (16 March 2020), Canada’s rate is outside of the global top 20 worst infection rates, yet there is still cause for some concern.

In a previous article, Business Chief explored the ramifications of Covid-19 on Canada’s economy and wider society:

Meanwhile, Shopify has instructed employees to work remotely, a solution which might gain momentum for businesses able to accommodate it.


Justin Trudeau has announced that a CA$1.1bn package will be spread across the country to help provinces cope with added strains to public health and the supply chain. 

The money will include $275mn to conduct further research into the virus in the hopes of developing a vaccine and $200mn for medical supplies, additional assistance to indigenous communities and educational functions.

The work of the Canadian scientists who have enabled the successful isolation of the virus will provide hope for further breakthroughs. However, it should be noted that Canada is not the first to achieve this feat.

The Independent reported that China, Australia and Italy have also managed to do so, although it should be noted that Covid-19 is able to evolve into mutated strains. Therefore, any strain that can be isolated is a positive step for taking back the initiative. 

Every country will play its part

Dr Rob Kozak, clinical microbiologist at Sunnybrook, hailed the progress made in Canadian medicine a triumph of collaboration over individual efforts.

“Researchers from these world-class institutions came together in a grassroots way to successfully isolate the virus in just a few short weeks,” he said.

“Now that we have isolated the SARS-CoV-2 virus, we can share this with other researchers and continue this teamwork. The more viruses that are made available in this way, the more we can learn, collaborate and share.”

For more information on business topics in Canada, please take a look at the latest edition of Business Chief Canada.

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