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WHO says no need for major alarm over new COVID-19 strain

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WHO says no need for major alarm over new COVID-19 strain

The World Health Organization (WHO) cautioned against major alarm. Which is over a brand new, highly infectious variant of the coronavirus that has emerged in Britain. They said this was a normal part of a pandemic’s evolution.

Every cloud has a silver lining

WHO officials even put a positive light on the discovery of the new strains. The reason is that prompted a slew of alarmed countries to impose travel restrictions on Britain and South Africa. Saying new tools to trace the virus were working.

“We need to find a balance. It is very important to possess transparency, it’s totally important to inform the general public the way it is. This is a standard part of virus evolution, and we must know that,” WHO emergencies chief Mike Ryan told a web briefing.

“Being ready to track a virus this closely, this carefully, this scientifically in real-time may be a real positive development for global public health. Adding to that, also the countries doing this sort of surveillance should be commended.”

Insufficient evidence

WHO officials said they have no evidence that people sicker or was more deadly from the new variant than existing strains of Covid-19. Even although it did seem to spread more easily. They cite this data from Britain.

Countries imposing travel curbs were acting out of an abundance of caution while they assess risks, Ryan said, adding: “That is prudent. But it’s also important that everybody recognizes that this happens, these variants occur.”

WHO officials said coronavirus mutations had so far been much slower than with influenza. Which even the new UK variant remained much less transmissible than other diseases like mumps.

They said vaccines developed to combat Covid-19 should handle the new variants as well. Although checks were under way to ensure this was the case.

“So far, while we’ve seen a variety of changes, variety of mutations, none has made a big impact. Be it either the susceptibility of the virus to any of the currently used therapeutics, drugs or the vaccines under development. One hopes that may still be the case,” WHO Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan told the briefing.

The WHO said it expects to get more detail within days or weeks on the potential impact of the highly transmissible new coronavirus strain.

 

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