UK variant of COVID-19 reported in Mongolia
- By Enkhnaranjav Tumurbaatar -
- Apr 26,2021
Deputy Prime Minister S.Amarsaikhan reported on April 23 that a case of the UK variant of the coronavirus has been registered in Mongolia. In particular, three Mongolians evacuated from Turkey and two people in the populationwere found to have contracted mutated coronavirus, which originated from the United Kingdom.
Three Mongolians from Turkey, who arrived more than 10 days ago, are being treated at the National Center for Communicable Disease. According to the Head of the National Center for Communicable Disease L.Battur, two cases of the mutated coronaviruses have been identified in the population, but there is “no reason to believe” that the variant is widespread in the population. There are currently no studies that show that mutated viruses cannot be suppressed by vaccines, L.Battur highlighted.
Samples of the variant cases were sent to Japan and South Korea to confirm the results. The results are not out yet, and if the mutated virus is detected and confirmed, the Ministry of Health will be notified promptly, L.Battur said.
Recently, mutated forms of COVID-19 has become more common. Mutated viruses are 80 percent more contagious than ordinary viruses, according the studies. Mongolia does not have a laboratory that can detect mutated viruses.
Currently, with support of the World Health Organization and other agencies, work is underway to purchase genome sequencing devices to detect new versions of COVID-19, according to health officials. In addition, three specialists are being trained in this field in Japan. The experts are expected to return to Mongolia later this month.
Previously, Head of the Operational Management Department of the Ministry of Health D.Narangerel reported that a person who was re-infected with a variant of COVID-19 died in December, last year in Egypt.
“There are studies that show that a person who was cured is at risk of contracting a new variant of COVID-19. There are very few such cases in the world. However, because it is an infectious disease, there is a post-treatment regimen that must be followed by the individual and family members.”
The biggest concern is whether the coronavirus vaccines currently in production will affect the new coronavirus variants. In this regard, scientists say that the coronavirus is mutated, but the vaccine has the ability to fully develop immunity against it. It is believed that currently available vaccines will work against variants of COVID-19.
Many people want to know if the AstraZeneca, Sinopharm, Sputnik V and Pfizer vaccines used in Mongolia are effective against the UK version, which has already been identified in the country.
Researchers believe that the British, Brazilian and South African variants of COVID-19 may be more harmful than other variants. Studies in Germany, the UK, Israel, Russia, China, and the US have shown that COVID-19 vaccines, including the four vaccines used in Mongolia’s immunization program, are resistant to the UK mutation. There is no evidence to suggest that it is ineffective, health officials highlight.
A study in Israel found that two doses of the Pfizer vaccine provided adequate protection against the UK mutation, while a study in Zimbabwe found that China’s Sinopharm vaccine was used effectively against the UK version in South Africa. Studies have shown that it is effective in protecting against more dangerous mutations.
However, the study on the efficacy of the Sputnik-V vaccine against mutated versions of COVID-19 is ongoing.
Virologists have suggested that the coronavirus has mutated, making it more infections, but there is “no need to panic.” The human body has an immune system that protects itself from viruses. When a virus enters the body, it builds immunity against it. However, if the virus changes its original form, it weakens the body’s resistance to the original virus.
All types of viruses are mutated, most mutated viruses are less dangerous, with few becoming more infectious, some scientists said. Therefore, experts advise not to be shocked and scared by the new variants of the coronavirus. There is currently no evidence that the new coronavirus mutations reduce the effectiveness of currently available vaccines. Medical experts say more research is needed to determine how the mutated viruses affect the human body.
As the new version of the coronavirus mutation spread rapidly in the UK, countries around the world, especially its closest neighbors is Europe temporarily refused to accept British citizens and cargo. Experts from the British government believe that the new variant of COVID-19 is more contagious than previously recorded versions. But there are many unanswered questions as the research is in its early stages.
The UK strain of COVID-19 was first reported in September last year and spread to the Netherlands, Australia, Italy and other countries, according to the World Health Organization. Doctors estimate that human-to-human transmission accounts for the most new outbreaks in South East England.
By November 2020, one in four new cases in London had been diagnosed with the new variant of COVID-19. By mid-December, two in three of all cases were mutated versions of COVID-19.
Preliminary results suggest that the new mutation is highly contagious in humans, most commonly in people over the age of 60, and it spreads rapidly among the population and may be more difficult to diagnose.
There are few cases of the coronavirus in warmer regions. Researchers also found that fewer cases were reported in areas with high humidity. There are also studies showing that the variant is spreading rapidly in air polluted areas with low wind speed.
A similar new version of the coronavirus was reported in South Africa last year, but it has not been confirmed whether it is associated with the UK variant.
This is not the first time that the coronavirus has mutated and changed. COVID-19, first detected in Wuhan, China, was different from the coronavirus that is now reported around the world. In February, a mutated version of the coronavirus, named D614G, became the most widespread variant in the world. However, the A222V coronavirus variant has spread throughout Europe and covered a wide area of Spain, according to BBC.
The new strain of the coronavirus mutation, first reported in the UK, has now been reported in more than 30 countries. The UK re-imposed a partial curfew due to the prevalence of the new variant, which is said to be 80 percent more infectious than original variant.
The new variants, like the initially reported one, poses a higher risk to the elderly or people with underlying medical conditions. Some researchers believe that the UK variant may have a high rate of spread and a high probability of complications. Therefore, to prevent infection, health officials advise the public to regularly wash hands and wear a mask.