The Ministry of Health confirmed that a mutation of the SARS-CoV-2 virus variant B1351 was found in a foreign national who lived in Bali. The 48 year old male foreigner has died.

The Director of Prevention and Control of Directly Communicable Diseases (P2PML) of the Ministry of Health, Siti Nadia Tarmizi, could not further confirm the nationality of the foreign national infected with the coronavirus mutation from South Africa.

“Yes, (the foreigner) died. We must check the nationality of the foreigner with the South African variant,” said Nadia on Tuesday (4/5).

Meanwhile, data recorded at the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAID), stated that the nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal samples were taken from this foreign national sometime after January 25, 2021.

GISAID itself is a data bank institution that is currently the reference for genome data for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

Nadia also explained that Indonesia had identified two cases of mutation of the SARS-CoV-2 virus variant B1617 this April. The findings are obtained regularly through the method of searching for new strains of the Whole Genome Sequence (WGS) coronavirus.

From the GISAID data, the two cases were found to be from women aged 32 and 38 years. It was noted that nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal samples were taken on April 3rd and April 22nd, 2021.

“The Indian variant, (were from) one foreigner and one Indonesian citizen,” continued Nadia.

Nadia said the foreigner was known to have come from India, while the travel history of the Indonesian citizen was still being traced. The spokesperson for Vaccination from the Ministry of Health has not been able to determine the exact number of people whose close contacts will be traced.

So far seven variants of the coronavirus have been successfully identified in Indonesia, namely the D614G, B117, N439K, E484K, B1525, B1617, and B1351 variants.

The news of confirmation of new coronavirus variants was conveyed by Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin on Monday (3/5). Budi said that two cases of the mutation of the SARS-CoV-2 virus from India B1617 had been identified in the Greater Jakarta area, while one case of variant B1351 from South Africa was found in Bali.

Budi also said that the current cases of the B117 variant had increased to 13 cases. With these findings, Budi asked local governments and the community to work together to control the Covid-19 pandemic.

These two new variants are mutations of the coronavirus, which is currently a concern of the World Health Organization (WHO) due to the rate of transmission which is considered massive and fast.

Author: HL

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