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COVID-19

B1617 called a ‘double mutant’ by experts

April 28, 2021 6:20 am
Logs Team mobilizing resources through the borders to support set up of Quarrantine Facilities. [Source: Jeremaia Mataika/Twitter]

The B1617 variant of COVID-19 that Fiji is facing has been described as one which has worrying mutations and could create major chaos.

Fiji medical officials are now trying to get people to understand and take precautionary measures, saying if this is not contained within a fortnight, we are in for a severe outcome.

Health Permanent Secretary, Doctor James Fong, says if we don’t win this fight over the next two weeks and this outbreak gets out of control, the prospects for jobs, micro, small and medium enterprises, entire industries, and our economy as a whole could fall into much more dire straits.

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Overseas media have reported that this virus, which has affected countries such as India, Brazil, South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States, has been tagged as a double mutant.

Epidemiologists say this variant has the characteristics of two already identified variants of E484Q and L452R mutations.

Doctor Fong says, the time to act is now.

“I am hoping and praying that there are more Fijians that will start now protecting their elderly family members, those who got comorbidities, pulling them away, telling them don’t go anywhere. But at the same time they have to be careful if they go somewhere, when they come back home, they won’t bring it to them, because if I can keep the vulnerable protected then we might not have to use too much of that medical reserve that we talking about.”

Doctor Fong has also said the current vaccine we are using, AstraZeneca, is said to have less impact on this variant, but vaccinations need to continue.

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