The Indonesian Covid-19 Task Force announced that the government continues to tighten and monitor the mobility of citizens both at home and abroad, following the development of the mutation of the SARS-CoV-2 B.1.621 virus, also known as the Mu variant.
Spokesman for the Covid-19 Task Force Wiku Adisasmito, said the variant, which was first identified in Colombia, has now spread to several regions, including areas of Europe and South America.
“Although currently conditions are trending towards normalcy and the opening of several sectors are gradually being carried out, the government continues to try to monitor domestic and foreign mobility with great caution,” Wiku said in a press conference broadcast through the BNPB Indonesia YouTube channel on Thursday (2/9).
Wiku confirmed that the Mu variant has been designated by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a ‘Variant of Interest (VoI)’ that is currently being observed by global researchers to determine if it is more infectious than the other original variants.
VoI is a classification of variants that have a genome with mutations that cause amino acid changes associated with the sensitivity of the test kit, which has been detected in many countries and has been identified as causing community transmission.
“Since August 31, the B.1.621 variant, which was first discovered in Colombia, has been designated as a variant included in the VoI category,” said Wiku.
The WHO stated that it continues to monitor the development of the Mu coronavirus variant. According to the WHO, preliminary research suggests that mutations in the variant indicate a risk of developing vaccine resistance. The WHO also called for further studies to better understand this particular variant.
Referring to data compiled by WHO, the Mu variant has only been detected in 0.1% of global Covid-19 cases. However, that variant already dominates 39% of Covid-19 infections in Colombia.