Human Genome Center and IBM Japan, Ltd. have developed and started operation of the HGC SARS-CoV-2 Variant Browser, which can be used to monitor variants of the novel coronavirus and to identify the infection routes in order to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading in Japan.
Genome analysis enables us to quickly learn "what mutations a strain harbors," "when and where a strain originated," and "how a strain spread".
Currently, variants of concern have become a major issue, and establishing a system to quickly investigate genomes has been awaited. As more people become vaccinated, economic recovery will induce higher mobility and so, more variants will be introduced from abroad. Furthermore, vaccine escape variants may emerge. To quickly cope with these issues, it is crucial to expand genome analysis of SARS-CoV-2 in Japan.