An infectious disease expert from the National University of Singapore said the recent mutant coronavirus dubbed D614G detected in Malaysia might be a ‘good thing.’
According to Paul Tambyah, who is also a president-elect at the International Society of Infectious Diseases, there is evidence that suggests the proliferation of the mutant virus might have coincided with a falling death rate in some locations, Reuters reports.
This means the D614G mutant coronavirus is a less-lethal variant of the virus that has so far upended more than 700,000 lives globally.
“Maybe that’s a good thing to have a virus that is more infectious but less deadly,” Tambyah was quoted as saying by news agency Reuters.
Adding more insight into the biological nuance of a virus, Tambyah said a virus tends to lose its virulence as it matures since it is in the interest of the virus to infect more but kill less because they depend on the host for food and shelter.
Malaysia’s Health Director-General Noor Hisham Abdullah sounded an alarm over the detection of the mutant variant in some places of Malaysia. He urged greater public caution given the virus was found to be 10X more infectious.
Hasham Abdullah also said the current vaccine development is likely to undermine the risk of this mutant variant. However, one health expert Sebastian Maurer-Stroh of Singapore told Reuters, a mutation is unlikely to change to an extent where vaccines become ineffective.
However, the WHO refuted claims that the mutant virus cause more severe disease and said it has reports of the mutation in the US and Europe from as early as February.
As per Johns Hopkins University data, 21,901,102 people have been infected from around the world, 50% of which comes from three countries – US, Brazil, and India. 774,299 have died so far globally.