Datametrex AI (DM.V) subsidiary Concierge Medical Consultants partnered with Vancouver-based COVID-19 testing clinic, ScreenPro Security (SCRN.C) today, according to a press release.
The clinic has both a rapid ten minute test and a more traditional lab-based polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test that can be used on the new variants with results in a day. Concierge is running the testing centre, but the testing is being performed by ScreenPro’s nurses and lab techs.
“As the third wave begins to spread in every region of the country with new Brazil and UK variants spreading, there is a significant need in the marketplace for providing personal COVID-19 testing solutions and the Company recognizes that continued testing is part of the solution to this growing public health pandemic,” said Dr. Jibran Sharif, chief executive officer, Concierge Medical Consultants Inc.
How bad are these variants exactly?
The million dollar question
First, a little science.
Viruses mutate and develop in much the way every single other organism on this planet does. New iterations are formed with slight deviations based on survival-based pressures at the gene level. The ironic thing about a virus is that it’s ultimately making these changes to ensure its own survival, and if it’s not particularly efficient, it kills the host and dies. The idea is to germinate, infect and feed off the host long enough to make the jump to a new host—in perpetuity. The Rhinovirus and its millions of variants is probably the most efficient virus on the planet. The SARS-CoV-2 doesn’t even come close.
Here’s some information from the Mayo clinic on some of the suspected variants:
- A variant identified in the U.K. (B.1.1.7). This COVID-19 variant appears to spread more easily and might have an increased risk of death.
- A variant identified in South Africa (B.1.351). This variant appears to spread more easily. It also has a moderate impact on the effectiveness of monoclonal antibody medications and moderately reduces the effectiveness of antibodies generated by a previous COVID-19 infection or COVID-19 vaccine.
- A variant identified in Japan/Brazil (P.1). This variant has a moderate impact on the effectiveness of monoclonal antibody medications. It also reduces the effectiveness of antibodies generated by a previous COVID-19 infection or a COVID-19 vaccine.
- A variant identified in the U.S. (California) (B.1.427). This variant appears to spread more easily. It also has a significant impact on the effectiveness of some treatments and moderately reduces the effectiveness of antibodies generated by a previous COVID-19 infection or COVID-19 vaccine.
- A variant identified in the U.S. (California) (B.1.429). This variant appears to spread more easily. It also has a significant impact on the effectiveness of some treatments and moderately reduces the effectiveness of antibodies generated by a previous COVID-19 infection or COVID-19 vaccine.
The B.1.1.7 variant from the UK is more infectious than the SARS-CoV-2 strain floating around your neighbourhood, and almost twice as deadly. It infects younger people and children at a higher rate, and is probably responsible for the present rise in infections through Europe, the US (including Oregon) and India.
The coronavirus is going to be with us for the rest of our lives in some capacity. The odds on us getting the original strain or one of its variants at some point in our lives are excellent. What we’re looking for now, though, is mitigation and control. As you’ll note above, some variants reduce the efficacy of antibodies produced through vaccinations. It’s won this part of the evolutionary arms race, mutating itself to survive and our scientists are racing to return the volley.
Social media isn’t helping. If you make the mistake of reading the comments section anywhere vaccines are discussed, you’ll see the rise of conspiracy theorists engaged in misinformation campaigns, trying to capitalize on anti-government sentiment. Usually, this is done for social capital gains. They’re getting points for being the smartest guy in the room by prodding the equally misinformed into a froth, and this generally lasts until they or someone close to them gets the virus. Then they’re either mysteriously absent for awhile and return contrite if they return at all.
Still, the damage is done, and unfortunately, these people are the reason we’re all working from home.
“The B.C. Centre for Disease Control has revealed that in late March the province of British Columbia reached a record percentage of positive COVID-19 test results and reached a positivity rate of 12.5 percent and 14.9 percent in Vancouver Coastal Health,” said Dr. Sharif.
Typically, Datametex AI is a technology company that deals in artificial intelligence and machine learning, using its subsidiary, Nexalogy. Nowadays, like plenty of other companies out there, they’ve made the temporary pivot to help (and maybe make a little bank) with fighting the good fight against COVID-19. The testing services are one way they’re doing that, and they’re taking that a bit further. Their partnership with ScreenPro gives them the ability to provide travel documentation electronically using ScreenPro’s app GoStop for travel between Canada and the US and some other destinations worldwide with the PCR test.
Shares have been flat on the news with the price remaining at $0.24.