Five genetic variants and six mutation patterns of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 have been so far identified in Cuba, according to a study conducted by several scientific institutions.
According to the investigation, which included samples from 414 persons, the new variants were detected from December 28th, 2020 and March 28th, 2021, said Sc. D. María Guadalupe Guzmán, director of Investigation, Diagnosis and Reference at the Tropical Medicine Institute (IPK). Previously, from March to December last year, the Clado G variant (the D614G type which susbtituted the original Wuhan strain) was the most common in Cuba.
The new variants were first identified in travellers but they have been already discovered in autochthonous cases, said the expert during the exchange that regularly takes place between Cuba President Miguel Díaz-Canel and science people.
“According to the frequency of the mutation patterns per week in travelers, four variants and five mutation patterns were detected, while in autochthonous cases there was a decrease of the D614G variant and a gradual increase of the variants reported in South Africa and California. The provinces of Havana, Mayabeque and Pinar del Rio show the highest number of variant-patterns”, added the doctor.
In that same meeting, Dr. José Angel Portal Miranda, minister of public health, pointed out that the new strains —first detected in South Africa, the USA, the United Kingdom and China— are said to be highly contagious and greatly associated to increased mortality.
Experts consider that isolation, mask wearing and the different measures so far implemented to protect ourselves from the SARS-CoV-2 virus continue to be effective.