D614G: Malaysia detects new coronavirus strain that is 10 times more deadlier

Last Updated: Monday, 17 August 2020 (16:19 IST)
Kuala Lumpur: A new strain of Coronavirus called ‘D614G’, known to be ten times more infectious, has been detected, Hisar Abdullah, director-general of health in told media.

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Mutations have been seen in three cases from a cluster that began when a restaurant owner and permanent resident returned to the country from India. It has also been detected in another cluster case that began with people returning from the Philippines.
 
Abdullah said that the strain could mean that existing studies 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.
 
Abdullah said that this meant people needed to be more aware and careful in the country. The mutation infects other individuals 10 times more and spreads more easily by an individual ‘super spreader’, he said.
 
He said that Malaysia’s main action was to secure public health and asked people to practice Covid-19 norms strictly, such as practising good self-hygiene and wearing protecting oneself in public places.
 
This mutation has now become the predominant variant in Europe and the US. However, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that there there is no evidence that the strain leads to more severe disease.
 
The novel Coronavirus pandemic began with a breakout in the Wuhan city of China in January.
 
Possible origination theories say it could have spread through the Wuhan’s wet market, or the endangered and widely trafficked Pangolins, among other ways.
 
The World Health Organisation declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International concern on 30 January, and a pandemic on 11 March.
 
According to the John Hopkin University tracker, 21,672,429 people have till now been infected, and 775,275 people have died around the world till now. (UNI)