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Scientists detect strain of new coronavirus which is 10 times more infectious

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 18 August 2020, 11:15 IST

D614G – a new strain of the novel coronavirus has been detected by scientists in Malaysia, which is found to be ten times more infectious, said Director General of Health Noor Hisham Abdullah in a Facebook post on Saturday.

The mutation earlier seen was in at least three cases in a cluster which started when a restaurant owner returned back form india and failing to comply with14-day home isolation. It has also been detected in another cluster case which started with returnees from the Philippines.

Abdullah stated that the strain could mean that existing research on vaccines might be incomplete or ineffective against the mutation.

"So far these two clusters are controlled due to the fast-paced public health control actions on the field. This test is an early test. There are several follow-up tests in progress for many other cases. These include index cases for both these clusters," Abdullah said.

Director General of Health Noor Hisham Abdullah stated that people need to be more careful and privy to the matter. The mutation infects other individuals 10 times more and spreads more easily by an individual 'super spreader', he added.

According to Abdullah, Malaysia's main action was to secure public health, and asked people to abide by Covid-19 norms strictly, such as practicing good self-hygiene, protecting oneself in public places and wearing a mask at all times.

This mutation has now become the main variant in Europe and US. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that there is no such corroboration that the strain leads to a more acute disease. According to a paper in Cell, the mutation may not have a major effect on the effectuality of vaccines which are currently being made.

The pandemic started in China’s Wuhan city in January. Possible origination theories suggest it could have spread through the Wuhan's wet market, or through the endangered and widely trafficked Pangolins, among other ways. The WHO declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on 30th January, and a pandemic on 11th March.

As per the John Hopkin University tracker, 21,672,429 people have till now been infected, and 775,275 people have lost their lives across the world thus far. Vaccine candidates are being developed in various countries, and trials are taking place.

Meantime, Russia has given nod to its home-grown vaccine, even as experts sound alarm on its effectiveness. The country produced the Covid-19 vaccine's first batch on 15th August, the Interfax quoted the health ministry as saying, after the ministry reported the start of manufacturing.

Few scientists stated that they fear that with this fast regulatory approval Moscow may be putting national prestige before safety in the midst of the global race to develop a vaccine.

Also Read: Maharashtra: 1,043 inmates, 302 jail staff test positive for coronavirus in prisons

First published: 18 August 2020, 11:15 IST