WHO in ‘close contact’ with UK over new coronavirus variant

WHO in 'close contact' with UK over new virus variant
There is no current evidence to suggest that the new variant is affected any differently by vaccines. Source: Reuters
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Daily US Times: The World Health Organization (WHO) has said it is in “close contact” with the UK over the emergence of a new variant of coronavirus.

The new variant of the virus is spreading more rapidly than the original one, but it is not believed to be more deadly.

Along with the UK, the same mutation of the virus has also been detected in the Netherlands, Australia and Denmark, the WHO told the BBC.

There is no evidence to suggest the new virus variant reacts differently to vaccines.

In the UK, large parts of south-east England, including the capital London, are now under a new, stricter level of coronavirus restrictions in a bid to curb the rapidly spreading virus.

The Netherlands on Sunday introduced a ban on passenger flights from the UK until 1 January because of the new variant.

The move comes after tests carried out on samples taken in the Netherlands earlier this month revealed the same new variant of the virus as that reported in the UK.

Pending “greater clarity” on the situation in the UK, the government of the Netherlands said that further “risk of the new virus strain being introduced to the Netherlands should be minimised as much as possible”.

The WHO said the UK was sharing information from ongoing studies into the mutation, and that the organization would update member states and the public “as we learn more about the characteristics of this virus variant [and] any implications”.

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