Coronavirus strain detected in Malaysia '10 times more infectious', potential vaccines may prove to be inadequate: Report
The mutation of the novel coronavirus could mean that existing research and development of vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 could prove to be inadequate or ineffective.
August 17, 2020 / 10:52 AM IST
The new strain of the novel coronavirus detected in Malaysia, is being considered 10 times more infectious, news reports suggest.
According to Malaysia’s Director-General of Health Noor Hisham Abdullah, the mutation called D614G, was first discovered in at least three of the 45 COVID-19 cases in a cluster which started after a restaurant owner returned from India and breached his 14-day home quarantine. The person has been penalised and sentenced to five months in prison.
The new strain was also found in another cluster that included people returning from the Philippines.
Reuters had earlier reported that the mutation increased the number of "spikes" on the coronavirus -- which is the part that gives it its distinctive shape. Those spikes are what allow the virus to bind and infect cells.
Bloomberg quoted Abdullah, as saying that the strain could mean that existing research on potential vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 may either prove to be inadequate or ineffective against the mutation.
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The Straits Times quoted another expert as saying that the strain was found in preliminary tests and that follow-up tests would be conducted on other COVID-19 patients.
Moneycontrol could not independently verify the news reports.
So far, Malaysia has reported 9,200 confirmed COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic. Of these, 8,859 patients have recovered.
As many as 125 people have died in the Southeast Asian due to the infectious disease.Click here for Moneycontrol’s full coverage of the novel coronavirus pandemic