JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Indonesia continues to deal with more strains of Covid-19, after a case testing positive for the E484K mutation was found in the country earlier this year.
The authorities found the case, a month before the more high-profile B.1.1.7 strain was traced last March to Indonesian migrant workers returning from Saudi Arabia.
“Researchers from the Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology traced the E484K strain last February to an individual in Jakarta,” said Indonesian Ministry of Health spokesperson Siti Nadia Tarmizi on Monday, April 4.
"The person has since been confirmed to recover [from Covid-19]. We have yet to determine if the individual contracted [the E484K Covid-19 strain] during an overseas trip or not.”
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Nadia added that E484K or ‘Eek’ is “one of an estimated 10 to 17 mutations of the B.1.1.7 strain of Covid-19. While these strains might influence the efficacy of the vaccine, studies in South Africa indicated that all [coronavirus] vaccines can still effectively treat them.”
Covid-19 Task Force spokesman Wiku Adisasmito reiterated Nadia. He noted that the mutation originated in a protein spike from the B.1.1.7 strain found in Brazil and South Africa.
“Recent research has shown that E484K has a high transmission rate. The government will intensify its whole genome sequencing efforts to determine which Covid-19 strains are found in Indonesia,” Wiku added.
“This includes maintaining the screening process for foreign nationals and Indonesian citizens alike who are entering Indonesia.”
He and Nadia also called on the public to maintain compliance with health protocols and limit their movement to reduce the transmission of the E484K and other Covid-19 strains.