Coronavirus Pandemic

‘Various strains’ of Covid-19 detected in the UAE

Ashwani Kumar /Abu Dhabi Filed on January 15, 2021
Photo: Reuters

Dr Nawal noted that mutations are common in SARS-CoV-2 — an RNA virus.

While a “limited number” of the UK strain of Covid-19 was found in the UAE, a top health official said several variants are already detected in the country.

“Strains are common and, yes, various strains have been detected — but with these small changes, the treatment, management and vaccination method remain the same,” Dr Nawal Al Kaabi, Chairperson, National Covid-19 Clinical Management Committee, said.

“The difference with the most recent strain is its increased transmission rate,” said Dr Nawal, the Principal Investigator of Phase III Clinical Trial.

Also read: 3 new Covid-19 strains that are leading to fresh lockdowns

On December 29, the UAE announced detecting a “limited number” of cases of the new strain that originated in the UK.

Elaborating on the different variants found across the world, Dr Nawal noted that mutations are common in SARS-CoV-2 — an RNA virus.

“Small mutations are common in RNA viruses — we are actively identifying and observing these strains to assess the changes and their effect. Studies found that the most recent strain that was first identified in the UK contains a lot more changes than normal, contributing to its increased transmission.”

Also read: Can UAE hospitals detect mutated virus via PCR tests?

Dr Nawal said the mutations in coronavirus are similar to influenza virus — a reason why there are different flu vaccines during different seasons.

“Influenza changes all the time, that is why the flu vaccine is different every year. This is a common trait of the RNA virus, which changes all the time,” Dr Nawal added.


Ashwani Kumar

I am a newspaperman from the emirate of Abu Dhabi. A journalist at heart. I get my stories from the streets. A south Indian born in the Hindi heartland, I easily connect with people from different nationalities and cultures. I am calm like a monk, sensitive and very patient reporter. On the ground, I cover a range of topics related to community, health, embassy, tourism, transport, business and sports. I will go out on a leg to do what’s right and stand by what I believe in.

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