WHO warns new Covid variants are ‘highly problematic’
In a recent article, CNBC reported the World Health Organization (WHO) warns new, more contagious mutated variants of the coronavirus are “highly problematic” and could cause more cases and hospitalizations.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus state Japan’s National Institute of Infectious Diseases discovered a new coronavirus variant in four travelers arriving from Brazil.
The variant appears to have some of the same mutations as other strains discovered in the United Kingdom and South Africa, the institute said. Japan’s infectious disease institute said it’s difficult to immediately determine how infectious the new strain is and the effectiveness of vaccines against it.
“The more the virus spreads, the higher the chance of new changes to the virus. This can drive a surge of cases and hospitalizations, which is highly problematic for health workers and hospitals already close to breaking point. This is especially true where public health and social measures have already broken down,” Tedros said at the WHO’s headquarters in Geneva.
Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s health emergencies program shared his view of the mutating virus as the second half of a football game. “It adds to the challenge you face because the opposition is bringing on some new players to the field,” Ryan said. “It doesn’t change what we need to do to win. It just changes the strength of the opponent and, in that sense, we have to take from that that we have to redouble our efforts.”
According to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, the coronavirus has infected more than 90.4 million people across the globe and has killed at least 1.9 million people. Countries are now racing to roll out their initial doses of Covid-19 vaccines to reduce the stress on hospitals.
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