The World Health Organization warned against panicking over the new Covid-19 variant being reported to be spreading in the UK and stated that mutations are normal in the cycle of a virus commending scientists for real-life surveillance of the variant.
This was disclosed by WHO officials in a briefing on Monday evening reported by Reuters.
The WHO said transparency is important in reporting the virus cases and urged that mutations are normal in the evolution of a virus
“We have to find a balance. It’s very important to have transparency, it’s very important to tell the public the way it is, but it’s also important to get across that this is a normal part of virus evolution.
“Being able to track a virus this closely, this carefully, this scientifically in real-time is a real positive development for global public health, and the countries doing this type of surveillance should be commended,” WHO emergencies chief Mike Ryan said.
The WHO said so far there is no data to prove that the new variant more deadly, however, it acknowledged that it spread way more often. Mike Ryan added that travel bans were acts of caution in a bid to assess exposure to risks,
“That is prudent. But it is also important that everyone recognises that this happens, these variants occur,” he added.
The WHO also added that the vaccines should be able to handle the newer variants and is making sure processes are put in place to ensure this is so.
“So far, even though we have seen a number of changes, a number of mutations, none has made a significant impact on either the susceptibility of the virus to any of the currently used therapeutics, drugs or the vaccines under development and one hopes that will continue to be the case,” WHO Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan said.
What you should know
- The UK Government warned that the new strain of Coronavirus spreads faster, and may already have left the UK, as it works hard to contain the spread.
- European countries started closing their doors to travelers from the United Kingdom on Sunday, with the banning of flights and trains over concerns of the new coronavirus strain that is spreading quickly through the country.
- WHO reported that COVAX, a global initiative, has put plans in place to access nearly two billion doses of various COVID-19 vaccine candidates in the first half of 2021.