Online Certificate Course on Diagnosis of COVID-19: Sample Collection, RNA Extraction, PCR, Data Interpretation, and Serology

Course Flyer

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has brought a state of emergency worldwide. This pandemic has affected underdeveloped and developing countries due to lower resources in diagnostic and healthcare sectors. The first case of SARS-CoV-2 virus in Pakistan was confirmed on 26th of February 2020. As of 8th July 2020, there have been about 237,489 confirmed cases with 140,965 recoveries and 4,922 deaths in the country.

The current reference test for the diagnosis of active infection by SARS-CoV-2 is a real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) assay. The need for increasing levels of testing for COVID-19 has been identified by both the World Health Organization (WHO) and by the UK government. In this context, COMSTECH, in collaboration with the International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences, University of Karachi is organizing a workshop on the diagnostic workflow of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.


The workshop is designed to address the interest of scientists and research scholars from different fields of biological sciences including Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, Genetics, and Biotechnology.


The program includes a series of online lectures and hands-on sessions on the following topics;

  • Sample collection from suspected patients by oropharyngeal and nasopharyngeal swabs
  • Viral RNA extraction from the collected samples
  • Synthesis of complementary DNA (cDNA) and amplification of target sequences of the viral genome using real-time polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) amplification
  • rRT-PCR data interpretation


Zoom Meeting

WORKSHOP PROGRAM (Pakistan Standard Time)

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

12:00-12:05   Inauguration Ceremony

12:05-12:10   Recitation of the Holy Quran

12:10-12:20   Welcome Address by Prof. Dr. M. Iqbal Choudhary

12:20-13:30   Lecture 1 entitled, “Selection and collection of appropriate clinical specimen for molecular diagnostic of viral infection”

13:30-14:30   Practical Session (Sample Collection, and Virus RNA Extraction)

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

12:00-13:00   Lecture 2 entitled, “Current Molecular Diagnostic Assays for SARS-CoV-2 and its importance”

13:00-14:30   Practical Session 2 (RT PCR)

Thursday, August 20, 2020

12:00-13:00   Lecture 3 entitled, “RNA extraction and PCR technicalities for accurate diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2”

13:00-14:30   Practical Session 3 (Interpretation)

14:30-14:45   Closing Ceremony


Please download the registration form. Kindly fill the form and submit it to the undersigned before August 14, 2020. Registered participants will receive e-certificate


Hanifa Beg
Programme Manager
COMSTECH Secretariat, Islamabad
Tel: +92-51-9220681-3
Fax: +92-51-9205264, +92-51-9220265

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