A mutation of the coronavirus disease 2019, labelled N439K and first detected in Indonesia in November 2020, has yet to receive special attention from the World Health Organization (WHO).
“This is actually a single mutation. There is only one mutation in this type of variant. This type of variant is not the one that draws special attention from WHO,” Vaccination spokesperson for the Health Ministry Dr. Siti Nadia Tarmizi said on Sunday.
She said the N439K mutation was found earlier than the British B117 variant. However, WHO has paid special attention only to the new variants from the United Kingdom, B1351 from South Africa, and P1 from Brazil.
The Health Ministry in Indonesia have alleged that there are various variants of the coronavirus in Indonesia, such as D614G, B117, and N439K.
She believes that WHO will conduct a wider study on the N439K mutation.
“We don’t know whether this virus is one that deserves special attention or not,” she said.
The new coronavirus variant of N439K is the same as the variant of D614G, a mutation in the virus.
According to a recent journal, N439K could camouflage the production of antibodies, she said.
She said that usually, the WHO would make an announcement after conducting studies with experts from various countries, including a study on the level of malignancy of the N439K coronavirus that might aggravate the Covid-19 disease.
“So indeed this virus is a new variant of the coronavirus. This variant is in and attached to the ace receptor. This virus is reported to be stronger. But the findings are based on the results of a trial. It means that only one journal has reported the new variant. And we haven’t heard what this virus looks like from the WHO,” she explained. SOVEREIGNPH