Covid B.1.617

Singapore was making great progress with the COVID-19 pandemic, after emerging from a difficult lockdown or "circuit breaker" in the middle of 2020. Since then, the authorities have been gradually relaxing the measures to allow large gathering sizes, and more intermingling. 

Most of us would end up being complacent.

This is what has happened (very quickly) over the past few weeks. Clusters started to form one after another, from a hospital to the airport, then to a tuition centre to schools. The government was quick to act, and imposed a Phase Two (Heightened Alert) to try to curb the community cases. 

I watched the 9pm news and the current tally of community cases has risen to over 38 counts, which set a new high since the 40 locally transmitted infected reported almost a year ago in April. 

The culprit (besides complacency of the state and the citizens) is the coronavirus variant B.1.617 which was first detected in India. This variant has created turmoil in India, but has also quickly spread beyond India to Singapore and several other countries. 

This B.1.617 variant apparently contains two key mutations to the other spike of the virus itself which can then be attached to human cells, which enables the virus to spread more easily. Because many vaccinated individuals also contracted the virus, there is a possibility that this virus is also more resistance to the current vaccines. 

What's definitely clear is that Singapore, and the rest of the world is not out of the woods yet. I read an interesting article about the third world war. Perhaps this is the third world war, a war where all humans and all countries need to unite to fight against the virus, instead of fighting one another, be it the unrest in Myanmar or the conflict in Gaza. 


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