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WHO could take ‘weeks’ to understand new Covid strain — Analysis

The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that it could take “a few weeks” to understand the risk posed by the transmissibility of the newly mutated strain of the Covid variant that’s been detected in South Africa.

Speaking on Friday, WHO spokesperson Christian Lindmeier laid out the organization’s approach, as it seeks to prevent the B.1.1.529 variant from spiralling out of control.

“Researchers are working to understand more about the mutations and what they potentially mean for how transmissible or virulent this variant is,”Lindmeier stated that the possibility exists for it to take place. “a few weeks”To fully comprehend the mutation.

WHO currently investigates whether or not the strain is a variant of concern.

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Soumya Swminathan (WHO chief scientist) has pointed out the differences in this variant. “a number of worrying mutations in the spike protein.”Experts indicate that there are 30 variants in this strain, which is more than the Delta variety that spread through several countries earlier this year. It could be able to bypass vaccines. 

After the discovery of the virus in Africa, European countries are taking swift action to restrict travel from Africa. On Thursday, Covid travel restrictions were imposed by countries across Asia and Europe on Botswana.

Addressing the new variant on Friday, the UK’s Health Security Agency called the mutation “the worst one we’ve seen so far” “dramatically”It is possible that the original strain may have been different. There is concern that the strain B.1.1.529 could be present. “may be more transmissible”The Delta version, which includes vaccines “less effective”It is strongly discouraged.

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