UNAIR NEWS – The emergence of a new SARS-CoV-2 variant called Lambda has made the public nervous. Although its status is still categorized as a Variant of Interest (VOI), the World Health Organization (WHO) is concerned that the Lambda variant will cause epidemiological problems.
The Lambda variant was first identified in August 2020 in Peru. As of April 2021, more than 81 percent of Peru’s Covid-19 cases were linked to Lambda.
After Peru, as of June 2021, the variant was detected to have spread widely in 29 countries in the world. Mostly in Latin America, including Argentina and Chile.
Responding to this issue, Prof. Maria Inge Lusida, M.Kes., Sp.MK(K), Ph.D, Head of the Institute of Tropical Disease (ITD) Universitas Airlangga (UNAIR) said the Coronvirus will continue to mutate because it is the nature of the virus to survive.
“Whatever the variant, the solution is to comply with 5M health protocols and immediately get vaccinated, don’t delay vaccination,” she emphasized during an interview on Wednesday, July 14, 2021.
Meanwhile, regarding the Lambda variant, Prof. Inge explained there is potential for the virus to spread was faster. In addition, Lambda is also suspected of being able to evade antibodies.
In terms of vaccine efficacy, said Inge, more research is needed to draw conclusions. “The data from WHO does not show how the efficacy of this vaccine against Lambda. Further research is needed,” she explained.
Prof Inge emphasized that humans will coexist with Covid-19. Moreover, the mutation of the Coronavirus is unpredictable. There is always a possibility for it to be more benign or even more dangerous. For this reason, serious prevention efforts are needed so that the pandemic ends soon.
“If the vaccination is 100 percent and the health protocols are always applied, it may not take years to coexist with Covid-19,” she concluded. (*)
Author: Erika Eight Novanty
Editor: Khefti Al Mawalia