Challenges of Tracing Covid-19 Virus Mutations in Indonesia

Viral mutations need to be traced to determine the severity and effectiveness of the vaccine.

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA – The fast mutation of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is one of the challenges of controlling the spread and preventing the spread of Covid-19. Mutation is an attempt by the virus to survive on its host and environment.

SARS-CoV-2 is a virus with RNA genetic material. Generally, viruses that possess this material have a high mutation rate. Especially compared to viruses with DNA genetic material such as bacteria and protozoa.

With the rate of transmission and finding of Covid-19 cases getting higher, the possibility of the SARS-CoV-2 virus mutating is also very large.

Mutations in the virus can cause a variety of possibilities. For example, making viruses easier to infect or infect cells, higher in virulence, or even more deadly.

Mutation is a random process. So that it needs thorough genome sequencing (whole genome sequencing) in the virus to track the part that has mutated or altered genetic material.

Viruses at least have the ability to develop and adapt based on their environment with an accumulation range of one to two mutations per month.

The current mutation of the SARS-CoV-2 virus has produced a number of new variants in several countries. Starting from D614G from China, B 1.1.7 or VOC2012 / 01 from the UK, B 1.351 or 501Y.V2 from South Africa, and B 1.1.28.1 or P.1 from Brazil.

The new variant B 1.1.7 is 70 percent more contagious than the previous variant. Meanwhile, the D614G variant from China was 10 times more contagious. So far it has not been found that it is deadlier than the previous variant.

Three new variants from the UK, South Africa and Brazil have so far not been reported in Indonesia. However, variant B 1.1.7 has been reported in several Asian countries and Australia.

Because it’s needed surveillance by which is more integrated and massive in Indonesia to track the whereabouts of these new variants in the country.

source: Between

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