Jakarta, IDN Times – The Indonesian Ministry of Health again found four cases of the new variant of the corona virus B117 from the UK. This has been predicted by the Head of the Institute for Molecular Biology, Eijkman Amin Soebandrio.
Amin said there were more than two cases of the virus strain that entered, because currently the whole genome sequencing (WGS) examination of 462 specimens was still being examined by Balitbangkes.
“There is no denying it (more than two cases were detected). For that we anticipate, Eijkman together with the Ministry of Research and Technology and the Ministry of Health have appointed a team to strengthen surveillance, look for new mutants, new variants of COVID-19 both from the UK and from others, both from South Africa, from Brazil and others, “he said in a special interview with IDN Times, Thursday (5/3/2021)
1. Eijkman has targeted 10 thousand genome sequencing tests for virus detection
Amin emphasized that Eijkman had experience researching viruses that had sprung up in Indonesia long before the COVID-19 pandemic. So that for the fast detection of a new variant of COVID-19 Eijkman collaborates with the Ministry of Research and Technology.
“Since January, we will target genome sequencing testing of 5 thousand to 10 thousand sequences in one year. When compared to the UK, it is still very small but hopefully it can help provide molecular information on what viruses are already circulating in Indonesia,” he said.
2. Eijkman also detected mutations of the Corona D614G virus
He said, last year Eijkman also detected a mutation of the D614G corona virus, which was 10 times more transmitted than COVID-19. Amin emphasized that the COVID-19 corona virus will replicate, so that it will continue to mutate.
“So every time the virus reproduces itself, it will mutate while going through a selection process. To survive, the virus also needs to adapt to its new environment,” he said.
SARS-CoV-2 will mutate if the environment is good then the virus will live, conversely, if the mutation does not go well, it will die or occur silent mutation because there is no change in the chromosomes.
“Viral conditions also depend on different environments, from temperature to the immune system and human genetics,” he added.
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3. Available vaccines are still effective
Amin added that until now the COVID-19 vaccine being developed is still effective against new variants because there have been no reports of replacing the vaccine.
“Although there are reports related to a decrease in the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine from Sinovac, it is still effective until now,” he said.
Meanwhile, the red and white vaccine produced by Eijkman will continue to be monitored regarding the effectiveness of the vaccine against new virus mutations
“If it is agreed that the virus has mutated in such a significant way, so we have to make adjustments. This is normal because previously the adjustment of vaccines was also carried out with influenza vaccines which are adjusted every 2 to 3 years according to the circulating viruses,” he said.
4. The Ministry of Health announced 4 new cases of the B117 corona virus mutation
Spokesperson for the COVID-19 Vaccination Ministry of Health of the Republic of Indonesia, Siti Nadia Tarmizi, revealed that four cases of the new variant of the B117 mutation were found in four provinces, namely North Sumatra, South Sumatra, East Kalimantan and South Kalimantan Provinces.
“We conveyed that 4 cases of the B117 variant have now recovered and they have undergone treatment and management, they tested positive at the beginning of the PCR examination,” said Nadia monitored from YouTube Ministry of Health, Monday (8/3/2021).
Four positive cases of COVID-19, a mutation of the corona virus from the UK, were found from the Whole Genome Sequencing examination.
“Based on the examination by the National Research and Development Agency and 16 laboratories that carried out Genome Sequencing, we convey the number of cases related to B117 as many as 4 cases,” added Nadia.
Nadia said that the Corona Virus is a type of RNA (ribonucleic acid) virus which naturally mutates easily and mutations are the virus’s ability to survive.
“Until now, we have not obtained scientific evidence that this mutated COVID-19 virus has a higher malignancy than the initial COVID-19 virus, however, studies in other countries have shown that this new variant of the virus is more rapidly transmitted,” he added.