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

Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

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


Ashwani Kumar

Published: Fri 15 Jan 2021, 4:19 PM

Last updated: Fri 15 Jan 2021, 4:20 PM

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.


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