Just days after the country’s first coronavirus case was confirmed, scientists in Brazil have sequenced the virus’ DNA to better understand and tackle the feared epidemic.

The investigative work was carried out in a laboratory at the Medicine Faculty in Sao Paulo University in collaboration with Oxford University. Scientists say previous work on zika meant investigators were able to move quickly.

With a DNA map of coronavirus, scientists hope that they can better monitor the virus and hopefully speed up the availability of a vaccine.

At the weekend, Brazil’s Health Ministry confirmed the country’s second case of the fast-spreading new coronavirus.

There are 85,403 confirmed cases globally, the Brazilian health ministry said on Saturday (February 29), citing data from the World Health Organisation. The epidemic, which began isn China, has killed almost 3,000 people worldwide, the ministry said.