WHO hosts special meeting on alarming new COVID-19 variant

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World Health Organization advisors are holding a special session in Geneva to gather information on an alarming new strain of the coronavirus that has emerged recently. South Africa, although a top expert says the effect on it COVID-19 Vaccines may not be known for weeks.

The technical advisory group on the evolution of COVID-19 was meeting virtually to discuss variant B.1.1.529, which has caused the stock markets to faint and the European Union to propose a stoppage in flights to South Africa.

The group can decide whether it is a “variant of concern” – the most alarming type, such as the well-known delta variant – or a “variant of interest” and use a Greek letter to classify it.

World Health Organization advisors are holding a special session to gather information on an alarming new strain of coronavirus emerging in South Africa.
World Health Organization advisors are holding a special session to gather information on an alarming new strain of coronavirus emerging in South Africa. (9News)

“We don’t know much about it yet. What we do know is that this variant has a large number of mutations, and the concern is that when you have so many mutations, it may have an impact on how the virus behaves. Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s technical lead for COVID-19, said: He said in a social media chat on Thursday (local time).

Fewer than 100 complete genome sequences of the variant are available so far, he said.

“For example, it will take several weeks before we understand what effect this variant has on any potential vaccine,” said Van Kerkhove. Said.

Dr Anurag Agrawal, chair of the advisory group, contacted by phone, director of the Institute for Genomics and Integrative Biology New Delhi, said it is too early to comment on the variant.
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He said more data is needed before he can add to the information already available.

Van Kerkhove said, “This is something to watch. I would say we have concerns, but I think you want us to worry.”

“We have people interested in that.”

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