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New Variants of Coronavirus Explained

Syora Alya Eka Putri

21 May 2021

The spread of the Covid-19 pandemic has not yet ended, and now, several new variants cause a spike of positive cases in several countries such as India and Singapore. The three virus variants, namely B.1.1.7, B.1.351, and B.1.617, are classified as variants of concern (VoC) or variants to matter. Among these three new types, B.1.1.7 is a variant of the virus with the highest transmission rate compared to the previous type of virus. Then, what are the three new variants of Coronavirus?

How Coronavirus Mutated

These new variants of the coronavirus originating from the UK, South Africa, and India are classified as being closely monitored because they spread faster from person to person.Recently, the Ministry of Health announced several new variants of the coronavirus already in Indonesia such as B.1.1.7 from the United Kingdoms, B.1.351 from South Africa, and B.1.617 from India. The spread of this virus is a result of the mobility of the movement of people. The development of the coronavirus mutation is still a study of researchers. Therefore, the new variant is considered to be more dangerous and infectious. 

B.1.1.7 Variant

First, there is the B.1.1.7. This variant was first discovered in the UK in December 2020. The spread/the transmission  of this variant is moderately faster than other variants. The presence of the B.1.1.7 variant has added to the surge in Covid-19 cases in the United Kingdom and is the most dominant variant spreading to several other countries. The transmission rate of B.1.1.7 variants tends to be high, around 36-75%. The symptoms of the B.1.1.7 virus are mainly the same as the common symptoms of Covid-19, such as cough, sore throat, and muscle aches. 

B.1.351 Variant

Second, there is a variant of the B.1.351 virus. It was first discovered in South Africa in December 2020. The spread of this variant is reasonably fast and has been found in 60 countries. The symptoms are more or less the same from other variants of Covid-19. However, this variant allows people who previously have been infected by Covid-19 to be re-infected again. Protection with vaccines can minimize being infected by this variant. 

B.1.617 Variant

Third, there is the B.1.617 variant. Initially, the virus originated in India. The B.1.617 variant initially was reported in Maharashtra. This variant is often referred to as the double mutation variant. This type of virus is also one of the most easily transmitted viruses. Generally, people infected with this variant can do self-isolation. 

 

How to Avoid New Coronavirus Variants

The three variants of the coronavirus are reported to spread quickly and easily transmitted from person to person. Until now, research is still conducted related to the mutation of the coronavirus. Preventive ways to minimize the spread of the new variants are the same way as foregoing preventions by applying health protocols such as washing hands using soap and clean water, maintaining a safe distance of one meter, wearing a mask, limiting the time in or avoiding closed and crowded space. There is also another way of prevention which is vaccination. Currently, vaccinations are available for the elderly in Jakarta, so do not forget to register for vaccination. 

That's all about the new variants of the coronavirus that has spread in Indonesia. People have to apply preventive strategies by implementing health protocols. Furthermore, Smarticitizen can access the latest information on the development of coronavirus cases in Jakarta through the corona.jakarta.go.id website or Jakarta Tanggap Covid-19 feature in the JAKI application.

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Author

Syora Alya Eka Putri

Seorang content writer di Jakarta Smart City yang sedang menempuh pendidikan Magister Kebijakan Pembangunan Sosial di Universitas Indonesia.

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