Dr. Faisal Sultan, SAPM on Health, has clarified that there is no clinical evidence at present that suggests that Coronavirus has undergone a mutation in Pakistan, which intensified the transmission of the viral disease.
In a press briefing, while responding to queries about the presence of a mutated version of the virus in the country, the Special Assistant said that viruses are known to mutate with time, and it is nothing unusual.
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When asked whether PCR tests can reliably detect mutated viruses, Dr. Sultan said, “There is no proof that virus mutation cannot be detected through PCR (testing) nor do we have evidence that mutation of the virus changes its transmission.”
He also urged the public to adhere to the COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to contain the spread of the viral infection.
Explaining the SAPM’s statement further, Dr. Zahra Hasan, a member of the Medical Microbiology and Infectious Society of Pakistan (MMIDSP), said that a PCR test is designed to detect various target sites so that mutations do not affect its sensitivity.
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She added that the medical authorities are continuously performing genome sequencing of the Coronavirus, which will help us understand the strain diversity and disease associated with the strains.
In this regard, a recent study carried out at the Genetics Institute of University College London (UCL) claimed that although SARS-COV-2, the Coronavirus, which causes the COVID-19 disease, is mutating as it spreads unabated all over the world, none of the documented mutated variants of the virus have amplified the spread of the disease.