March 4, 2021, 04.50 PM

JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com - Since the start of the pandemic, SARS-CoV-2 has been mutating. Given the swift spread of the virus, experts said the new variant B.1.1.7 contains mutations that could make it easier for the virus to spread 40 to 70 percent more quickly.

Griffith University epidemiologist Dicky Budiman said that those mutations make it more transmissible, meaning that it may be better at replicating itself in people’s bodies.

"[The new variant] has the potential to transmit very effectively at super spreader events or crowds. The transmission rate has reached 40 percent to 70 percent," Dicky told Kompas.com, Wednesday, March 3.

Also read: Indonesian Migrant Workers Returning From Saudi Arabia Suspected of Carrying British Covid-19 Strain to Indonesia

The Covid-19 B.1.1.7 variant is the SARS-CoV-2 virus found in the UK, which is similar to the virus in Indonesia. The only difference lies in the genetic code.

"The virus is SARS-CoV-2, the disease is the same, it's Covid-19. The only difference is the genetic code of the virus," Dicky asserted.

Mutations are a natural part of a virus’ life cycle and occur when a virus causes infections. Most mutations are useless or weaken the virus, but occasionally a mutation may benefit the virus.

Some research scientists suspect the B.1.1.7 variant may not only be more contagious but also deadlier, especially for the elderly or people with comorbidities. People would have a 30 percent chance of mortality if they had an infection from this variant, Dicky said.

However, Dicky called on the public not to panic but increase response and alertness to health protocols.

Also readOver 6,000 Companies Register for Independent Covid-19 Vaccination Scheme

"You don't need to panic, you just have to be very vigilant. Being alert means you have to strengthen the response, health protocols, and the vaccination," said Dicky.

"Now the response has to be 2-3 times, more massive, more aggressive. Wear two layers of mask and so on," he added.

The Covid-19 B.1.1.7 variant is reported to have entered Indonesia.

"We found a B.1.1.7 UK mutation in Indonesia. Last night there were two cases," said Deputy Minister of Health Dante Saksono Harbuwono at the "Indonesian Innovation for Indonesia to Recover Post-Pandemic" event on Tuesday.

(Writers: Tatang Guritno, Gloria Setyvani Putri | Editors: Icha Rastika, Gloria Setyvani Putri)

Sources: https://nasional.kompas.com/read/2021/03/03/13125071/epidemiolog-varian-baru-virus-corona-40-70-persen-lebih-cepat-menular

https://www.kompas.com/sains/read/2021/03/03/130200123/mutasi-virus-corona-b117-masuk-indonesia-gejala-mirip-varian-asli

 

Dapatkan update berita pilihan dan breaking news setiap hari dari Kompas.com. Mari bergabung di Grup Telegram "Kompas.com News Update", caranya klik link https://t.me/kompascomupdate, kemudian join. Anda harus install aplikasi Telegram terlebih dulu di ponsel.



Comment wisely and responsibly. Comments are entirely the responsibility of the commentator as regulated in the ITE Law
Report
Thank You! We have received your report. We will remove comments that conflict with the Community Guidelines and the ITE Law.

More Headlines

Business
August 5, 2022, 10.13 PM

China Begins to Ship Bullet Trains to Indonesia

News
August 3, 2022, 02.03 PM

ASEAN Warns Myanmar Against More Executions

News
July 29, 2022, 05.55 PM

Philippines Reports First Case of Monkeypox

Close Ads