According to a report by Austrian National Radio and Television on January 4th local time, the mutant novel coronavirus was found for the first time in five samples collected at Vienna International Airport in Austria that day.
The test results show that four samples are the same as the mutant novel coronavirus announced in the United Kingdom, and one sample is the same as the mutant novel coronavirus announced in South Africa. According to the report, three of the five patients are children.
At a press conference on the 4th, the Austrian Ministry of Health, An Schaubert, said that so far, 32 countries and regions have confirmed the discovery of mutant coronavirus, including 15 European countries, including Austria.
He said that it was not accidental that the mutant coronavirus could be found in Austria, but that the relevant authorities conducted about 1,800 virus gene sequencings and “targeted” results.
Anschobel stressed that Austria will continue to strengthen the screening of people infected with the virus and ensure strict immigration control under all circumstances. It is reported that Austria is still implementing a landing ban on flights from the United Kingdom and South Africa.
At the same time, Anschobel also revealed that the tracking of close contacts has been carried out in an orderly manner, no new infections have been found in the patient’s families, and people infected with mutant COVID-19 have also taken home quarantine measures.
In addition, Andreas Bergtale of the Molecular Medicine Research Center of the Austrian Academy of Sciences pointed out at a press conference that the new virus variant has arrived in Austria, mainly closely related to the travel history, but there is no sign of widespread transmission, because the mutant virus has not been detected in wastewater samples.
He further explained that the mutant novel coronavirus known as UK VUI-202012/01 or SOUTH AFRICA B.1.1.7 has appeared in 17 site mutations, including 14 amino acid mutations and the disappearance of three protein components in South Africa; and currently known as 501 for South Africa. Relatively little is known about V24 variant COVID-19, which should be a separate mutant strain and is not associated with the mutant virus found in the UK.
Bergtaler admitted that, as far as the known information is concerned, the possibility that mutant COVID-19 will have a negative impact on the effectiveness of vaccines is very small, and there is little evidence that it will affect the formation of antibodies.
However, he believes that scientific investigation and research should be carried out as deeply as possible.