Three COVID-19 mutant strains right in Guyana’s backyard
By Kemol King
Kaieteur News – As COVID-19 vaccines develop and are used worldwide, Guyana is looking to receive its own share in the first half of the year. The government had prepared for a resurrection of cases after the Christmas holidays, but will now have to prepare for a possible resurrection for other reasons. Three highly anxious mutant strains of the novel COVID-19 have been found, all of which are right in Guyana’s backyard, Federal Republic of Brazil. These three COVID-19 mutant types have already swept across the planet, and have been found in every continent in the world, except Antarctica.
One was from the United Kingdom (UK). Last month, the European country recorded a surge in cases, and scientists have attributed it to a new strain of COVID-19 that preliminary studies indicate is much more infectious. The UK government said it was found to be 70 per cent more infectious. Found in early December, the mutant has ravaged the UK again, forcing a fresh wave of lockout measures. About 40 nations had responded swiftly last month by banning access by UK travelers.
The new strain has not been proven to be more deadly than usual, but has already spread to more than 30 countries and territories, including Denmark, Italy, Gibraltar, the Netherlands, Australia, South Africa and Brazil.
Guyana’s big, populous neighbor announced his first UK outbreak of stress more than a week ago, in his Sao Paulo province. The distance between Guyana and the province of Sao Paulo is over 3,000 km, on the eastern side of the continent.
The second worrying strain is one that came from South Africa. The authorities of that country announced the outbreak in mid-December, 2020. It was found to be highly contagious as a UK strain, causing a surge in cases in South Africa. It has already begun to spread to other countries. On January 9, Reuters reported that Brazil had detected the variation in South Africa in a re-infection case in Rio de Janeiro. This was notable as it is the first such case found in the world, where someone was re-infected with a South African variant. The individual’s symptoms, this time, are more powerful. Rio de Janeiro is on the Southwestern side of the continent, over 3,500 km away from Guyana.
But there is another much closer mutant in the Brazilian state of Amazonas. On Sunday, Japan’s National Institute of Infectious Diseases said it was detecting a new COVID-19 variant in travelers from Amazonas. Institute head Takaji Wakita said there is no proof that the new variant in Brazil contains much infectiousness, although CNBC reported that the strain shares some mutations in common with the UK strain, as well as other infectious strains originated in South Africa. . Japanese scientists did not conclusively pronounce the infectiousness of the strain traced from the state of Amazonas.
Brazil has been suffering from one of the most deadly outbreaks of the virus in the world, behind the United States. It has detected over eight million cases of COVID-19, and more than 200,000 people have died as a result. Like US President Donald Trump, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has been criticized for reducing the severity of the pandemic.