Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – A virologist from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, Shi Zhengli said that new variants of Covid-19 will continue to emerge because the increase in the number of infections gives the virus more opportunities to mutate.
Shi Zhengli is a researcher who has been dubbed China’s “bat woman” for being the first person to study the corona virus that came from bats.
Currently, one of the Covid-19 variants of concern is the Delta variant which was first detected in India. This strain has appeared in at least 98 countries and continues to mutate as it develops.
“We should not panic, but we need to be prepared to coexist with the virus in the long term,” Shi Zhengli said, as quoted by the Global Times, Friday (6/8/2021).
Shi Zhengli noted that China is now under pressure to control the epidemic, but self-isolation is still effective in limiting transmission. “Prevent gathering, apply social distancing, wear masks and wash hands frequently.”
Shi Zhengli added he had spoken to several patients who were infected after vaccination and found that the vaccine, although unable to prevent infection, was still effective in preventing critical illness.
He urged the public to get vaccinated as soon as possible and called for accelerated research and development of mucosal vaccines to prevent infection through the mouth or nose as well as drugs to treat Covid-19.