Deputy Minister of Health Dante Saksono Harbuwono has confirmed the first two cases of the mutated version of COVID-19, known as B177, from the UK have been found in Indonesia.
The findings were announced by Dante in the event “1 Year of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Indonesian Innovation for Indonesia to Recover Post-Pandemic” on Tuesday 2nd March.
“One year ago, we found cases 1 and 2 of COVID-19. Last night I received information that the B117 UK mutation has been found in Indonesia,” he said.
Dante said there were two cases of COVID-19 with the B117 mutation in Indonesia. He emphasised that there must be an immediate response to the finding to prevent a widespread outbreak of the mutation.
Studies are ongoing, with suggestions that the UK variant could be up to 30% more deadly that the initial virus. Scientists believe that current vaccines should be effective against this strain and research is continuing.
“We will face this pandemic with an increasingly severe level of difficulty with this new finding,” he said.