From “Gold Standard” to Having B1617 Take Over Local Transmissions. What Happened to Us?

In the past month, Singapore seemed to have more cases of the B1617 variant in local transmissions than in imported cases. This is according to information on the GISAID website – a portal for countries to share Coronavirus data.

Singapore has uploaded a total of 292 virus genome sequences onto GISAID. Over the last 4 weeks, more than 91% were strains of the B1617 variant. We are second only to Iran’s 100%. This shows that the variant is very easily spread and has taken over our local transmissions.

Experts also believe the high percentage shows that our local transmissions were mainly triggered by a few imported cases.

Dr Paul Tambyah, who is President of the Asia Pacific Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infection, said that the situation in Singapore is similar to the UK and Australia, where there is more local transmission of the variant. This is different from the US and Germany, which continue to see more imported viruses.

From having the “Gold Standard” to letting the B1617 variant dominate our local transmissions… Singapore has surely come very far, and we all know that this is definitely not the “right direction”.

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