WHO to assess new highly mutated Covid-19 variant as countries ramp up health checks

who to assess new highly mutated covid 19 variant as countries ramp up health checks

Sumary of WHO to assess new highly mutated Covid-19 variant as countries ramp up health checks:

  • The World Health Organization will meet on Friday to assess a new variant detected in South Africa that is feared to be the worst Covid-19 variant yet identified.
  • Indian health officials on Friday put states on alert, asking them to carry out “rigorous screening and testing” of travellers who had arrived from South Africa, Botswana and Hong Kong, and to trace and test their contacts.
  • Health secretary Rajesh Bhushan urged all states to ensure that samples from Covid-positive travellers be swiftly sent to genome sequencing labs for testing.
  • New Zealand is also closely monitoring global advice on the new variant, the ministry of health said.
  • The deputy prime minister, Grant Robertson, said the new variant was “a real wake-up call for all of us, that this pandemic is still going” and reiterated the need to continue with caution.
  • Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s technical lead on Covid-19, said in a press briefing on Thursday: “We don’t know very much about this [variant] yet.
  • Britain’s health secretary, Sajid Javid, confirmed the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) was investigating, saying “more data is needed but we’re taking precautions now” in a tweet late on Thursday.
  • UKHSA chief executive Jenny Harries said: “This is the most significant variant we have encountered to date and urgent research is under way to learn more about its transmissibility, severity and vaccine-susceptibility.

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