HKU virologist professor Malik Peiris said there is no hard scientific evidence showing there are highly or less virulent strains of Covid-19 virus in an interview with Indian newspaper the Hindu.
Peiris said SARS CoV2 virus, an RNA virus, will undergo mutation as they spread and may acquire very characteristic mutations. These mutations can be used to trace the transmission chain, but does not mean that these strain variations are related to any difference in severity.
Scientists have been studying epidemics for years and warned about a serious epidemic, “Every two or three years we have had completely new epidemics. Until this one, every time, we have managed to dodge the bullet so to speak,” he said.
“We know that influenza causes pandemics, so, for that at least some measures have been taken. But I am afraid it is this lack of preparedness that has left the world vulnerable to this pandemic.”
Peiris also shared the measures Hong Kong has adopted to contain the pandemic.