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Jakarta Post

Indonesia detects more contagious British virus variant. What now?

The Jakarta Post Image
Medical workers prepare to administer the coronavirus vaccine at a drive-through vaccination point in Nusa Dua on Indonesia's resort island of Bali on Monday.(Agence France Presse/Sonny Tumbelaka)
Ardila Syakriah
Jakarta   ●   Tue, March 2, 2021

The Health Ministry reported on Tuesday the first two cases of a more transmissible variant of COVID-19 that was originally discovered in the United Kingdom, exactly one year after Indonesia's first local cases were discovered – making the country’s battle with the pandemic more challenging and possibly necessitating a faster vaccine rollout.

Deputy Health Minister Dante Saksono Harbuwono said on Tuesday that he had received on Monday evening a report on the detection of two cases of the British variant, known as B117.

Dante said that, with the detection of the new variant, Indonesia would need to improve its handling of the outbreak, accelerate research and expand analytical epidemiology studies.

“This means that we'll be facing the pandemic with a higher level of difficulty,” he said.

There were no details on wh...

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