The Syrian government has informed the World Health Organisation that it has discovered a new SARS-CoV-2 variant in a pioneering method that does not make use of traditional viral genomic sequencing techniques, but instead uses innovative “very enhanced interrogation” to force the virus and its host to reveal all aspects of their evolution.
At a press conference Thursday outside Branch 227 of the Military Intelligence Directorate, Maj Gen Amin Kalabsha told reporters that initial analysis indicates that the variant may spread more quickly between individuals lining up for bread or waiting to fill their propane gas tanks.
He said more studies were needed to determine whether certain interrogation techniques, such as suspending the host upside down for 48 hours, beating them with electric prods or pulling their fingernails affected the variant’s admissions.
Kalabsha said the variant was first discovered in February after an unexpected rise in community mask wearing in the country.
“The rise in the number of people wearing masks made us suspicious that yet another foreign plot was under way,” he said.
He said a detailed methodology of the sequencing technique would be published in due course, and would show its superiority to traditional methods using science.
“All I can say is while antiquated viral genomic sequencing techniques take between three to ten days in other countries, our very enhanced interrogation techniques allowed us to identify the variant in less than 48 hours of questioning,” he said.
Regarding the human host of the virus, Kalabsha said patient confidentiality protocols prevented him from divulging additional information, save that he had “sacrificed himself for nation and science.”
The Syrian health ministry announced new measures to counter the newly discovered variant, including restrictions on social gatherings and movement, the establishment of rapid testing sites at Shabiha, militia and army checkpoints and closures of any remaining non-essential businesses competing with Damascus Cham Holding.
The health minister praised the interdisciplinary approach adopted by government agencies in dealing with the coronavirus and its variants.
“This is yet another victory for the Arab world and for Syria against the universal conspiracy against her,” he said.