Eijkman Talks of Possible New Covid-19 Variants

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Laila Afifa

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  • Illustration of research at the Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology. Source: Eijkman Institute document

    Illustration of research at the Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology. Source: Eijkman Institute document

    TEMPO.CO, JakartaThe head of Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology, Amin Soebandrio, confirmed that there is a possibility for the emergence of new Covid-19 variants in the future. “That possibility exists because the virus continues to mutate,” he said on Thursday, July 22.

    According to Amin, SARS-CoV-2 that causes Covid-19 has the opportunity to mutate every time it replicates. “As long as it (the mutated virus) can survive in a new host,” he added.

    WHO previously warned of the strong likelihood for the emergence and global spread of new, possibly more dangerous variants of concern in the future. The WHO Emergency COVID-19 Committee chair Didier Houssin made the announcement, reminding all that the pandemic is nowhere near finished.

    To date, WHO has identified four variants of concern, such as the Alpha variant which was first discovered in the UK, the Beta variant from South Africa, the Gamma variant from Brazil, and the Delta variant from India.

    Meanwhile, the variants of interest which have the potential to add to the VoC list include the Eta variant, the Iota variant, the Kappa variant, and the Lambda variant.

    “Regardless of the virus type, patients cannot know what variant they are infected with because it can only be detected through the laboratory,” said Amin who is also the Professor at the Clinical Microbiology of the University of Indonesia’s Medical Faculty.

    Amin further asserted that the anticipative measures against Covid-19 remain the same; applying the health protocols of wearing a face mask, washing hands, maintaining distance, avoiding crowds, and reducing mobility, as well as testing, tracing, and treatment.

    Read: Patients Infected by Delta Variant in Indonesia Show Mild Symptoms: Eijkman

    MOH KHORY ALFARIZI