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Indonesia detects potentially more contagious coronavirus variant E484K

Christian Fernsby |
Indonesia has detected COVID-19 virus variant E484K which is potentially more contagious, the Indonesian COVID-19 Task Force said on Thursday.

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According to the task force's spokesman Wiku Adisasmito, this was a mutation in the same spike protein that happened in the South African and Brazilian variants.

"We need to be more disciplined in health protocols. This is our main defense to prevent the spread of the virus," Adisasmito said.

Adisasmito added that the government is to improve the whole-genome sequencing to map the COVID-19 variants that enter Indonesia, and tighten screening for international arrivals.

The Health Ministry's spokesperson for the COVID-19 Vaccination Siti Nadia Tarmizi said that the E484K variant was detected in Jakarta and now the patient has recovered.

Researchers suspect this mutase could affect the efficacy of vaccines, Tarmizi said, however, the existing COVID-19 vaccine is still effective at creating antibodies to ward off infection.

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