Govt. seek recommendations from CARPHA on a new UK-based COVID-19 variant
Kaieteur News – In light of a new variant of the COVID-19 virus (SARS-Cov-2) found in the United Kingdom (UK), the COVID-19 National Task Force under the Ministry of Health is seeking recommendations from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) as it relates to the use of flights from that country.
This was revealed by Health Minister, Dr. Frank Anthony, during his COVID-19 update on Tuesday.
Dr. Anthony, as a result of the new variation being spread in the UK, flights from the country could be modified as it brings a high risk of imported cases. However, that will be done based on CARPHA recommendations.
He further said that Caribbean countries such as Jamaica and Grenada have already restricted flights from the UK, but CARPHA has recommended that they observe the situation and “gain more scientific knowledge” before making a decision. “Once we confirm some of the mutations and understand the impact these mutations might have, then we will be able to make a more definitive pronunciation,” said Dr. Anthony.
He also noted that some countries in Europe, Canada, Russia, and a few other countries also have restricted flights.
CARPHA is getting its virologist to cooperate with virologists from the Pan American Institute of Health on the issue and during their meeting with stakeholders on Monday, they said a total of 1,108 people were infected with the new variant of the disease on December 13 . The new variant is still under investigation and will be referred to as SARS-CoV-2 VU1 202012/01.
Meanwhile, Dr. revealed. Anthony the Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Narine Singh, will meet with key stakeholders to discuss the new variation of the disease and will explore possible safety measures.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has noted that since November 2020, the UK has been reporting a rapid rise in COVID-19 cases in London and the south east of England, which is linked to a different version / variant of the virus that causes COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2). Public health professionals in the UK are evaluating the features of this new variation.
“Viruses are constantly changing by rolling, and new variants of a virus are expected to occur over time. Sometimes new variations emerge and disappear. At other times, new variants will emerge and begin to infect humans. Multiple variants of the virus causing COVID-19 have been documented in the United States and worldwide during this pandemic, ”the CDC said.
In addition, it was noted that they have not yet discovered how widely the new variant has spread in the UK and possibly worldwide, how it differs from earlier variants and how the disease caused by this variant unlike the disease caused by other variants that are currently circulating.