TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Professor at the Department of Pulmonology and Respiratory Medicine, the University of Indonesia's Faculty of Medicine (FKUI), Tjandra Yoga Aditama, shared several steps to deal with the Mu variant of Covid-19. According to the pulmonologist, Sars-Cov-2, like viruses in general, is very likely to mutate and that new variants appear from time to time.
Tjandra Yoga Aditama said that the Covid's Mu variant has been categorized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the Variant of Interest (VOI) since August 30, 2021. "If the scientific evidence is clearer, then it is possible for a variant classified as VOI 'upgraded' to be a Variant of Concern (VOC)," said the doctor in a written statement, Monday, September 13, 2021. "Even so, it is possible that the Mu variant remains in the VOI group."
The Director of Infectious Diseases of WHO in Southeast Asia for the 2018-2020 period said there are five efforts that can and need to be done to anticipate the Mu variant or other new flu viruses that may come.
Check the following:
1. Continue to increase the number of screening
The government should not relax the Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) examination in order to anticipate the arrival of new variants of Covid-19 in Indonesia. Until September 11, 2021, the Global Initiative on Sharing ALL Influenza Data (GISAID) has collected flu virus genomes from around the world. Indonesia has examined and entered data for 6,035 genomes.
2. Health protocol discipline
Health protocols remain the key to avoiding viral infections. It is mandatory to wear a mask, maintain hand hygiene, maintain distance, avoid crowds, and reduce mobility. It is also important to bear in mind that an increasingly widespread transmission will cause the virus to continue to replicate, which is potential for new mutations and variants.
3. Test and Trace
Continue to increase the number of Covid-19 tests and trace in order to break the chain of the virus transmission. The ideal figures are conducting 400,000 tests a day and tracing to 15 people of each positive case.
4. Covid-19 Vaccination
The government must continue to increase vaccination coverage. Until September 11, 2021, the second dose of Covid-19 vaccination reached 19.94 percent or around 41.5 million doses. While the first dose of Covid-19 vaccination was 34.69 percent with 72.2 million doses.
5. People's mobility between countries
People arriving from abroad, especially from countries with the Mu variant of Covid-19, must undergo quarantine and take a PCR test. Quarantine duration is at least one or two incubation periods.The visitors should also be monitored for several weeks in order to find out any suspicious or even worrisome health conditions.
Rini Kustiani | Maudey K. Setyakusuma