D614G mutation – no reason to sound the alarm

In an article written by Nor Ain Mohamed Radhi published in the News Strait Times newspaper, both Professor Datuk Dr Awang Bulgiba Awang Mahmud and Prof Sanjay Rampal ask about the danger of the new D614G mutation of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Both Dr Awang Bulgiba and Dr Sanjay Rampal noting that the D614G variant has been associated with higher infectivity, however, it have not shown to affect the severity of Covid-19 in Malaysia. They believed that the basic pillars of prevention and control of Covid-19 remained the same.

Dr Awang Bulgiba said that the G614 had become the dominant variant in some countries and accounts for 70 per cent of studied Covid-19 viruses. He said the authorities’ prompt action in locking down some parts of these states under the Targeted Enhanced Movement Control Order was adequate and less disruptive than locking down entire states.

Dr Sanjay Rampal shared the same view, he said that the decision to lock down should consider the healthcare capacity for screening, contact tracing, testing and treating the cases. A too-low threshold may result in a high economic cost for little additional health benefits, whereas too high a threshold may result in the number of cases overwhelming the state’s healthcare capacity, leading to higher morbidity and mortality.

Both of them believed that the current COVID-19 situation in the country is under control.

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