Questions remain on little known ‘Mu’ variant, says Brunei Health Minister

  • Brunei
  • Sunday, 05 Sep 2021

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Sept 5 (Borneo Bulletin/ANN): The World Health Organisation (WHO) calls the new ‘Mu’ variant a strain of interest. It was first detected in Colombia, though the discovery in Hong Kong was due to a resident visiting the South American country and returning to Hong Kong, Brunei's Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Mohd Isham Jaafar (pic) said.

The ‘Mu’ variant is still relatively unknown with many questions surrounding it, such as transmissibility, severity, as well as whether or not it is resistant to the current vaccines, as statements available on the variant are only assumptions made by individuals, the minister told the daily press conference in the capital with regard to the recent detection of the ‘Mu’ variant in Hong Kong.

“Regarding variants, it is not surprising because the longer we face this pandemic, the more new variants will emerge,” Dr Mohammad Isham said.

“That’s why we need to contain it as quickly as possible, especially in Brunei Darussalam.”

He said the longer it is left uncontrolled, the higher the likelihood of a new variant appearing, adding that the Delta variant is, however, still one of concern around the world that threatens the stability of the healthcare system.

Meanwhile, the minister said the Sultanate is expected to receive a new batch of vaccine soon.

Dr Mohd Isham and the relevant authorities are in talks with several friendly nations regarding the matter, and the vaccine is expected to arrive in the near future.

He added, “Regardless, the vaccine is not expected to arrive tomorrow or the day after, as it is still in legislation. It is not easy to arrange for a swap deal as legal aspects are involved.

"On top of that, the administrative works behind it will also take time. But hopefully the next batch of vaccine will arrive this month.”

As for now, Brunei has detected 126 new Covid-19 cases bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 3,219 on Saturday night (Sept 5).

The minister also said one new cluster was detected. The total number of active clusters in the Sultanate now stands at 50.

The new cluster contained 12 cases detected following the ‘Swab Sweep’ Operation in the Mumong area on Sept 2.

The operation was conducted after several cases were identified in the area. The cluster is now known as Derma Wangsa Cluster, he told the daily press conference. - Borneo Bulletin/ANN

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Brunei , Covid-19 , MU , New Strain , Issues , Health Minister


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