ALERT: A new mutation of the COVID-19 has been discovered in Malaysia. The virus is deemed to be 10 times more infectious. The mutation of the virus is called D614G. The strain of the virus has been previously found predominantly in the USA and Europe. It is also detected in the recent outbreaks in China.
The recent cluster found in Malaysia is linked to an Indian man. The man didn’t complete his 14-day quarantine period. He opened his restaurant and infected over 45 people. When the 45 cases were treated, it was observed that at least 3 of the tested samples carried D614G.
Southeast Asian countries have reopened their borders partially with restrictions. To control the resurgence of Coronavirus, strict quarantine guidelines are being followed. But many breach the isolation period or give fake negative reports in borders. The man who returned from India had tested negative when he arrived in Malaysia. He has been sentenced to five months in prison and fined for breaching quarantine.
The predicted havoc
Philippines’ Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said: ” The mutation is said to have a higher possibility of transmission or infectiousness, but we still don’t have enough solid evidence to say that that will happen.”
According to Noor Hisham Abdullah, Director General of Health, the mutation can create unprecedented infection rate and obstruction to the process of vaccine development. The vaccines are made using early isolated strains of a distinct virus.
“People need to be wary and take greater precautions because this strain has now been found in Malaysia. The people’s cooperation is very needed so that we can together break the chain of infection from any mutation,” said Doctor Abdullah in a Facebook post which has gone viral.
Despite Dr Abdullah’s claims, the WHO believes that the mutation wouldn’t make a difference to the way vaccines are being worked on right now. Rather it can have a competitive advantage.
The mutation might be more infectious but there are no evaluations yet. The need of the time is the compulsory wearing of a mask, social distancing norms and demure hygiene protocols.
The world is already in a tumultuous situation, individual effort can move mountains.
Inputs: NDTV and TOI