Thursday, April 8, 2021

Indonesia reports coronavirus case with "Eek" mutation

Indonesia has reported its first case of a more transmissible new variant of the coronavirus known for reducing vaccine protection, but the government on Tuesday said vaccines being used in the country could withstand the mutation.

REUTERS

The new variant contains the E484K mutation found in variants first identified in South Africa and Brazil.

It is nicknamed "Eek" by some scientists for its apparent ability to evade natural immunity from previous COVID-19 infection and to reduce protection offered by current vaccines.

Siti Nadia Tarmizi, a senior health ministry official, said on Tuesday that the one variant case had recovered and did not infect close contacts, adding that the vaccines currently available in Indonesia could withstand the mutation.

However, Herawati Sudoyo, deputy director for fundamental research at the government-funded Eijkman Institute, which specialises in medical molecular biology and biotechnology, said the vaccines' ability to withstand the mutation had yet to be determined. 

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