Dili, July 12, 2021 (Lusa) – Timorese authorities announced today that they had detected a case of the Delta variant of covid-19 in a passenger who traveled to the country in April and who was in quarantine, according to the weekly epidemiological report.
“Preliminary results from the most recent batch of tests show a case of the Delta variant of covid-19, which was diagnosed in a traveler who entered the country and was quarantined on April 22, 2021,” says the bulletin. released today.
“This person remained isolated and was managed with proper infection control precautions. There is no evidence, at this stage, of further dissemination of the delta variant of covid-19 in the community”, he emphasizes.
The analysis will be carried out by the Public Health Laboratory of the Microbiological Diagnostics Unit at the Doherty Institute in Melbourne, which has been carrying out sequencing of microbe genomes since 2015 and which has been essential in the response to covid-19.
Regularly, positive test samples are sent from Dili to Melbourne so that the variants present in the country can be detected.
Until now and since the beginning of this type of screening, only one case of the variant originating in the UK and now this case of the Delta variant has been detected.
“Transmission of the covid-19 Delta variant continues to occur in many countries around the world. There is a continuing risk of introduction of the Delta variant into the community in Timor-Leste. The screening and tests will continue”, explains the bulletin.
It is recalled that the tests conducted at the National Laboratory of Timor-Leste apply the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) technique, which allows detecting the actual presence of the virus, at that moment, in the person’s body.
However, these tests only identify a small part of the virus, confirming only its presence, requiring genomic sequencing – which maps the 29,903 individual building blocks of the SARS-CoV-2 genetic code.
Genomic sequencing, on the other hand, uses extracted RNA to synthesize what is known as “complementary DNA”, a more robust form than RNA and which allows for sequencing, a process that can take between four and 36 in each sample. hours.
In other areas, the epidemiological bulletin noted that in the last week, until 11 July, the rate of detected infections continued to fall, with the 252 cases detected representing 5.5% of the 4,604 tests performed – this figure was 6. 6% the week before.
The incidence rate is currently 4.8 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, with 10 per 100,000 in Dili, and 8.9 per 100,000 in Baucau.
With regard to vaccination, until July 10, Timor-Leste had already received almost 400,000 vaccines, around 300,000 from AstraZeneca from the Covax mechanism and Australia, and 100,000 from Sinovac, offered by China.
Next week arrive the first 12 thousand vaccines offered by Portugal.
Nationally, 230,175 people (30.5% of the population over 18 years old) have already received the first dose and 31,369 people (4.2%) have completed the vaccination.
In the Municipality of Dili, the first dose of the vaccine has already been administered to about 58% of the population over 18 years of age and about 9% already have the two doses.
Timor-Leste currently has 902 active cases across the country, with cases of infection in all municipalities except Liquiça and Manufahi, with 9,823 cases and 25 deaths recorded since the start of the pandemic.
ASP // JMC