Tuesday, 13 April 2021 | 10:25 WIB

Health Ministry Urges Public to Remain Calm Despite New COVID-19 Variant

Dr. Siti Nadia Tarmizi M. Epid, spokesperson of the COVID-19 Vaccination at the Indonesian Ministry of Health (kemkes)

JAKARTA, NETRALNEWS.COM - The Indonesian Ministry of Health has received information about two COVID-19 cases of the coronavirus mutation from the United Kingdom or B.1.1.7 variant on Monday, March 1st 2021.

The two cases were discovered from the examination of 462 samples. The B.1.1.7 variant was previously announced in the United States (US) on December last year.

Dr. Siti Nadia Tarmizi, M. Epid, spokesperson of the COVID-19 Vaccination at the Health Ministry, said the coronavirus is RNA (ribonucleic acid) virus type that naturally can mutate, and the mutation is a way for the virus to survive.

"Until now, we have not received scientific proof that shows the COVID-19 mutation is more malignant compared to the previous coronavirus. However, several studies in other countries show that the new virus variant can spread quicker," she said, as quoted from the website of the Health Ministry on Sunday (03/07/2021).

The mutation occurs on the spikes of the virus, which causes the virus to easily enter the target cell so that the contagion is quicker than the previous variant. The contagion speed of the virus mutation does not make the disease worse, but related studies about this new variant keep continuing.

The scientists who study B.1.1.7 coronavirus confirm the inoculation effectivity of the virus is still at the level that can be accepted, and so far, it does not interfere with the vaccine's performance.

"The vaccines used by the government are still effective to prevent the virus mutation contagion. Thus, it does not affect the herd immunity," Nadia said.

Nadia also asked the public to remain calm and not to worry, despite still having to be vigilant. Even though the malignancy level of the new coronavirus mutation is still unknown, its contagion level is higher.

"We ask for the public to be alert, be strict in applying the health protocols, and support the COVID-19 vaccination," she added.