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Spread of new strains could lead to increase in COVID-19 incidence

Spread of new strains of coronavirus in Kyrgyzstan could lead to an increase in COVID-19 incidence. Aigul Dzhumakanova, head of the Center for Laboratory Testing of the Department of Disease Prevention and State Sanitary and Epidemiological Surveillance, told 24.kg news agency.

«An in-depth phylogenetic study to identify varieties of COVID-19 strains among patients with COVID-19 in our republic is carried out regularly. On March 26, we sent 30 samples to VECTOR World Health Organization Reference Laboratory in Novosibirsk. They were collected throughout the republic. According to results of the study, it was established that four strains circulate in Kyrgyzstan: the British, South African (the strain that circulated in 2020), Indian and strains circulating in the Russian Federation,» she said.

Aigul Dzhumakanova added that the British and South African strains are more contagious.

«They have the ability to quickly develop and transmit. The Indian strain and the strains circulating on the territory of Russia do not particularly differ from those that are already circulating in our country. The lethality of all of them is the same, as is the treatment,» she said.

The specialist added that it is important to wear masks, keep distance, and use antiseptics. «If a lot of people get sick at the same time, it will be a big burden on the health care system. Laboratories will have to carry out a lot of research, and these are human hands, PCR tests will need to be done in large quantities, additional beds will be required, many doctors will be needed,» she said.

Interfax reported earlier that two studies published in the scientific journals The Lancet Infectious Diseases and The Lancet Public Health did not confirm fears about a more severe course of COVID-19 in patients infected with the British strain. Moreover, the both journals confirm the higher infectivity of this type of the virus.

South African authorities announced identification of the South African strain at the end of last year. The new mutation turned out to be about 50 percent more contagious than the previous ones.

The Indian strain was first registered in October 2020, but has become most widespread since February. Scientists now classify this strain as a «variant under study», not considering it as particularly serious.