UNAIR Epidemiology Expert emphasizes 5M campaign to prevent Strain B117 transmission

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UNAIR Epidemiology Expert Dr. M. Atoillah Isfandiari, dr. M.Kes. (Photo: Personal Documentation.)

UNAIR NEWS – The mutation of SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus named Strain B117 has reached Indonesia. The mutation, which was first detected in Britain, has a transmission rate 40 to 80 percent.

UNAIR Epidemiology Expert Dr. M. Atoillah Isfandiari, dr. M.Kes, said that promotion of 5M as a form of anticipation is more optimal in preventing transmission. The 5M campaign includes wearing masks, washing hands, maintaining safe distance, staying away from crowds, and reducing mobility.

The lecturer who is also Vice Dean of Faculty of Public Health (FKM) UNAIR emphasized the public to maintain discipline in adhering to health protocols. It is an effort to prevent a paradox.

“Because the impact is more on increasing risk of transmission, so the preparation must be on the prevention of that transmission early on. We should not let a paradox occur, where the virus mutates more and is transmitted more, instead we seem more lax in health protocols, ” explained Ato when contacted by the editorial team on Monday, March 22, 2021.

For him, the discipline of implementing 5M is more effective than waiting for vaccine coverage reaching 68 percent of Indonesia’s population of 70 percent target. There are still 5 million people throughout Indonesia who have been vaccinated, out of 270 million or more than 2 percent who are vaccinated.

Ato said, one of the impacts of Strain B117 in Indonesia, is that it may increase family cluster. There is a tendency of masks rarely worn at home because the house is considered a safe place. On the other hand, the potential for transmission of this new virus variant is higher.

“Family clusters can increase, although so far, they are still not the most dominant, only around 40-50%, but are starting to show an increasing trend,” said Ato.

“So far, there are phenomena, as it is not certain for family members to be infected even though in the family they have sometimes close contact without wearing masks at home,” he added.

If it turns out that in the future the source of transmission in family members who carry the virus to the house is the B117 variant, it means there is a greater chance for other family members to be infected. Thus, the family clusters will be higher.

Ato also revealed that if there was an increase in cases, ideally, to find out the cause, more intensive sequencing should be done to find out whether it was caused by Strain B117 or not.

UNAIR as the best university in Indonesia is developing Merah Putih vaccine so Indonesia will be free from Covid-19. (*)

Author: Asthesia Dhea Cantika

Editor : Binti Q. Masruroh

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