It has been found out that the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the TRNC have been caused by the mutated virus that appeared in the UK for the first time.
As a result of the analyzes carried out at the COVID-19 PCR Diagnostic Laboratory of the Near East University DESAM Research Institute, it was announced that the mutated variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which spread from the United Kingdom to the world, was detected in TRNC.
In the analyzes performed on 17 samples diagnosed with COVID-19 in the COVID-19 PCR Laboratory in November-December 2020 and January-February 2021, it was determined that the British variant known as “B117” spread in TRNC. In the analyzes, it was found that 9 out of 17 samples had “B117” variant.
80% of the cases in February are caused by mutants
The first case of the UK variant in the TRNC was seen on January 13. On February 3, 8 out of 10 cases diagnosed with COVID-19 were found to be the “B117” variant. With the analysis, it was determined that in the TRNC, where the number of daily cases exceeded 50, the reason for this increase was the mutated virus, which was first detected in England and whose contagiousness was high by 70 percent.
Prof. Dr. Tamer Şanlıdağ: “We determined that the British mutant was spread in the TRNC.”
DESAM Research Institute Director Prof. Dr. Tamer Şanlıdağ said that, in their analysis in the COVID-19 PRC Diagnostic Laboratory, they found out that the B117 British variant with the N501Y mutation, which first appeared in the United Kingdom, started to appear in the TRNC in mid-January 2021.
Stating that this variant has shown a rapid spread, it has been seen in the vast majority of people infected in recent days. Prof. Dr. Şanlıdağ said that the mutated virus caused an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the TRNC.
Stating that the new variant does not change the course of the disease, but it spreads faster, Prof. Dr. Şanlıdağ said, “The British variant increases the contagiousness by 50 to 75 percent by changing the Ro value, which shows the number of contagiousness of the coronavirus, between 0.4 and 0.7.”
Prof. Dr. Tamer Şanlıdağ said that in the analyzes made by the DESAM Institute Mathematical Modeling Research Group, the “Ro value”, which shows the number of contagiousness of the coronavirus, was determined as 3.25 in TRNC as of today. Emphasizing that in order to reduce the speed of the mutant virus, the surveillance and protection measures should be continued. Prof. Dr. Tamer Şanlıdağ stated, “As a team, while fighting COVID-19 with a very large number of expert staff, we continue to carry out academic studies in order to better understand and manage the process in the light of scientific data.”
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mahmut Çerkez Ergören: “The new SARS-Co-V-2 variant causes concern as it allows the virus to bind more tightly to the ACE2 receptor.”
One of the DESAM Research Institute COVID-19 PCR Laboratory officers and researcher Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mahmut Çerkez Ergören said that as a result of the SARS-CoV-2 variant detection analysis they carried out at the COVID-19 PCR Diagnostic Laboratory, the “N501Y” mutation, known as the “B117” British variant, was detected in TRNC.
Stating that this new variant leads to an increase in the number of infections, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ergören said that the British variant emerged with a mutation in S proteins that bind the virus to human cells and facilitate its entry. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ergören said, “The new SARS-Co-V-2 variant causes concern as it allows the virus to bind more tightly to the ACE2 receptor.”