Fears coronavirus has become more transmissible - Study

A worrying new study suggests COVID-19 might have ceased to mutate, meaning it has adapted to humans and become more transmissible.

A new study has suggested the coronavirus may have ceased to mutate, meaning it has adapted to humans and is more transmissible. Picture: Aizar Raldes/AFP
A new study has suggested the coronavirus may have ceased to mutate, meaning it has adapted to humans and is more transmissible.

The study, which was conducted by a team of Hong Kong researchers at Polytechnic University, compared coronavirus strain samples taken from different clusters in the area since late June.

The coronavirus had continued to mutate during the first and second waves when we carried out similar research, Associate Professor Gilman Siu Kit-hang told The South China Morning Post.
The discovery is very different this time, proving either the virus has adapted to the human body, thus it has stopped mutation, or these cases all contracted the virus at the same venue in a short period of time.

It comes as the World Health Organisation has warned the coronavirus pandemic is likely to be “one big wave”.

WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris warned that people need to remain vigilant despite lockdowns easing.

She said the idea of a “second wave” is flawed because the spread of the virus does not seem to be seasonal, stressing that the dangers remain all year.

People are still thinking about seasons, she told a press conference on Tuesday.
What we all need to get our heads around is this is a new virus and it is behaving, even though it is a respiratory virus, even though respiratory viruses in the past did tend to this different seasonal waves, this one is behaving differently.
There seems to be this persistent belief that summer is not a problem. Summer is a problem. This virus likes all weathers, but what it particularly likes is jumping from one person to another when we come in close contact.
So let‘s not give it that opportunity. The second wave idea, we are in the first wave. It’s going to be one big wave.

She said social distancing remains the best way to prevent transmission of the virus.

It‘s going to go up and down a bit, she continued, Now, the best thing is to flatten it and turn it into just something lapping at your feet.
The season does not seem to be affecting the transmission of this virus currently. What is affecting the transmission of this virus is mass gatherings, it is people coming together and people not social distancing, not talking the precautions to ensure they are not in close contact. So, where people are in close contact, we are seeing intense transmission.
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Over 16.5 million cases been recorded worldwide since the pandemic began, according to Johns Hopkins University figures.

The United States has more cases and deaths than any other country – with over 4.3 million cases and almost 150,000 deaths.

Brazil has nearly 2.5 million cases, India has 1.4 million, and Russia has 822,060. South Africa and Gulf countries including Oman and Bahrain have been flagged as fast-rising hot spots.

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