Widespread in GCC countries
KUWAIT CITY, June 13: The consultant of internal and epidemiological diseases at the Al-Adan Hospital, member of the American Society of Infectious Diseases, Dr. Ghanem Al- Hujailan, has called on the Ministry of Health to bring in new PCR examination equipment to monitor the mutated strains of the “Covid 19” virus, especially the British and Indian strains. Al-Hujailan said in a press statement the high number of infections in Kuwait and the Gulf states indicates that the Indian and British strains have spread in the GCC countries on a large scale and said he expects the mutated strains to reach between 40 and 50 percent of infections in Kuwait. He said he is concerned about the increase in the number of mutated coronavirus infections daily in neighboring countries, pointing out that the number of infected cases in the Kingdom of Bahrain doubled during May from 1,063 to about 3,000 cases per day.
Al-Hujailan stressed on the urgent need to import accurate testing devices to detect the main mutants British, African, Brazilian, Indian or any other strains that may be more deadly, saying the efforts of the Ministry of Health to confront the Covid 19 virus from the beginning of its emergence until now has been satisfactory, but it needs to do more and harness the capabilities to monitor and confront the mutated strains, especially with the inability of current laboratory reagents to detect them. He valued the keenness of many countries to provide specialized tests to detect mutated strains, including the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Sultanate of Oman, since they were quick to raise the level of approved tests with high efficiency, according to approved international standards to limit the spread of more infectious strains of the “Covid-19” virus.
He stressed on the need to raise the efficiency of the tests approved in the country, especially after doing away with the partial and opening all air, land and sea ports to travelers to and from the country. Although the Ministry of Health announced that the effectiveness of the first dose of the Oxford vaccine will gradually increase after prolonging the period of the second dose for more than 12 weeks, Al- Hujailan stressed the policy of extending the duration of vaccination against the virus and giving the second dose after a long time after the first dose, is one of the most important reasons for the increase in infections although clinical studies indicated that acquired immunity after giving the second dose of the Oxford vaccination three months later is better, all international experts and specialists agree that the longer the aforementioned period, the more the virus can spread and mutate. By Marwa Bahrawi Al-Seyassah, Arab Times Staff