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US Detects First Case of COVID-19 Variant in Colorado

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The US case of the new COVID strain was first confirmed by a man with no travel experience, the variant that UK scientists think is more infectious than COVID-19.

Governor Jared Polis confirmed Tuesday that the first recorded US case of the new COVID-19 version, which has been detected in the United Kingdom, has been found in Colorado.

The variant was observed in a man in his 20s who is in isolation southeast of Denver and has no travel background, state health officials said.

The Colorado State Laboratory verified the variant of the virus, and notice was issued to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Scientists in the UK think that the variant is 70% more infectious than strains traditionally described. The vaccinations being offered now, Colorado health officials said in a news release, are believed to be safe against the variant.

Public health authorities are reviewing other possible incidents and doing touch tracing to assess the variant’s distribution across the state.

“There is a lot we don’t know about this new COVID-19 variant, but scientists in the UK are warning the world that it is significantly more contagious.

“The health and safety of Coloradans is our top priority, and we will closely monitor this case, as well as all COVID-19 indicators, very closely,” Polis said.

Polis and state health officials are expected to hold a news conference on Wednesday.

Since Saturday, when British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said a new form of the coronavirus seemed to spread more easily than previous one, making concern rise about the new variant and had passed quickly across England. It was in southeast England, where the nation’s first variant case was found.

Dozens of countries barred UK airlines, and stringent lockout procedures were put in effect for southern England. Scientists have said that there is cause for caution, but there should be no alarm triggered by the new strains.

New coronavirus strains have been seen almost since the virus was first identified about a year ago in China. When they reproduce and pass through one population, it is normal for viruses to undergo small changes. How scientists trace the propagation of a virus from one location to another are the minor modifications.

But where there are big mutations in the virus, it is troubling that new vaccinations may no longer provide the same protections. While this is a chance for the coronavirus to be tracked over time, researchers have said they do not think the new strain to be the case.

President-elect Joe Biden said that it could take years at existing delivery rates for most Americans to be vaccinated for the virus.

Biden’s prediction of a grim winter appeared to be aimed at reducing public expectations that the pandemic will end soon after he takes office on January 20, while also sending a message to Congress that his administration will want to significantly increase spending on speeding up the distribution of vaccines, expanding testing and providing state funding to help reopen schools.

“As I long feared and warned, the effort to distribute and administer the vaccine is not progressing as it should,” Biden said in Wilmington, Delaware. At the current rate, “it’s going to take years, not months, to vaccinate the American people.”

Biden said about two million people had been vaccinated, just short of the 20 million promised by the end of the year by outgoing President Donald Trump.

Canada, Italy, India and the United Arab Emirates have also found the version.

Source: Al Jazeera

Health

Two Individuals Infected With Nigerian Covid-19 Variant In Malaysia Discovered – MOH

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Recently, the Ministry Of Health Malaysia (MOH) has discovered the first two cases of individuals that got infected with the Nigerian Variant of SARS-CoV-2 or also known as B1.525 in this country. The detected cases are actually from two foreigners who just arrived in Malaysia from Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Both of them were found to be tested Covid-19 positive through the RT PCR Covid-19 swab test.

For a better recognition, The Institute for Medical Research (IMR) then performed a full genome sequencing as it takes into account both of the foreigner’s travel history. The Nigerian COVID-19 variant was first detected in the UK and also Nigeria in the month of December 2020.

MOH also stated that these discovered Nigerian variants can cause an increase in the likelihood as well as a possible decrease in the immune response. Worry not because MOH reassured that IMR and CPRC will continue to monitor the development of the virus mutation and to inform the public from time to time.

Other than that, they also reminded that even though the national immunization program is going smoothly, public health actions are still required as herd immunity has still not been achieved yet.

Sources: Twitter MOH

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UK To Fast-Track Modified Coronavirus Vaccines To Fight New Variants

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LONDON, March 5 – Future vaccines that have been tweaked to deal with new coronavirus variants will be fast-tracked for authorisation, Britain’s medicines and health care regulator announced Thursday, reported Xinhua news agency.

“We have a clear goal that future vaccine modifications that respond to new variants of coronavirus can be made in the shortest possible time without compromising safety, quality or effectiveness,” June Raine, chief executive of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), said in a statement.

According to the new guidance, the three-phase safety trials required for the original coronavirus vaccines won’t be needed but manufacturers must provide robust evidence that the modified vaccine triggers an immune response.

Christian Schneider, chief scientific officer at the MHRA, said: “The public should be confident that no vaccine would be approved unless the expected high standards of safety, quality and effectiveness are met.”

Currently, both the Oxford-AstraZeneca and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines have reportedly shown to be effective against the variant that first emerged in Britain late last year.

However, experts have raised concerns over the efficacy of current vaccines in the variants rst found in South Africa and Brazil, which have both been detected in Britain.

Six cases of P1 variant related to Brazil have been found in Britain, including three in England and three in Scotland.

More than 20.7 million people in Britain have been given the first jab of the coronavirus vaccine, according to the latest official figures.

At present, England is under the third national lockdown since the outbreak of the pandemic in the country. Similar restriction measures are also in place in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

On Feb 22, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his long-anticipated “roadmap” exiting the lockdown. Schools in England will reopen from Monday next week as the first part of the four-step plan, which Johnson said was designed to be “cautious but irreversible”.

To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Germany, Russia and the United States have been racing against time to roll out coronavirus vaccines.

Source: BERNAMA

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“MySejahtera App Has Been Doing A UI Update…” – Khairy Jamaluddin

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Recently, the MySejahtera App has been doing a UI update for the vaccination of the COVID-19 program. The display for the vaccination is different now to show the simpler flow of the process for everyone that has successfully registered for the vaccine through the MySejahtera App.

According to Khairy Jamaluddin, “This UI update is to push the new display to everyone that has registered”.

For some people, this new display does not show up even though they have registered before. For that problem, Khairy Jamaluddin explained, “Wait for the push. Don’t register again”. But do not be worried if you have to register again because the first registration has been recorded.

He stated in the tweet, “For those that did and see later date of registration, rests assured we have a record of your first try. Appointments are given based on the first time you registered”. The appointment order would not be disturbed as it is given according to the registration done the first time.

Sources: Twitter Khairy Jamaluddin.

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