As the country’s caseload surges, a more infectious mutation of the coronavirus has been found in Indonesia. The Jakarta-based Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology said on Sunday (Aug 30).
From a data by the health ministry showed, Indonesia reported 2,858 new infections on Sunday, below Saturday’s record 3,308 but above the past month’s daily average; thus, reaching a total of 172,053 cases and 7,343 COVID-19 fatalities.
The mutation, being “infectious but milder” named D614G, has been found in genome sequencing data from samples collected by the institute. Herawati Sudoyo, the deputy director of the research, added that more study is required to determine whether that was behind the recent rise in cases.
The strain that has been identified in February and has been flowing in Europe and America has also been found nearby Singapore and Malaysia.
An epidemiologist with the University of Indonesia, Syahrizal Syarif, advised that the Indonesians must remain watchful, as his demonstration suggests the country may see its caseload rise to 500,00 by the end of the year.
Syarif said, also noting that the number of infections that were found daily could have been much higher if laboratories were capable of processing more specimens in a day.
The country’s capital, Jakarta saw on Sunday a record of daily increase of more than 1,000 cases, which the city government linked to a greater movement rate through a mid-August independence celebration.
“There needs to be an awareness and a collective effort, be it from the government or the people, in addressing the rising number of cases,” an official at the Jakarta health agency, Dwi Oktavia, said in a statement, advising people to stay at home and wear a face mask when they need to go out.