In the latest announcement, WHO said the COVID-19 variant discovered in the UK on January 25 had spread to 70 countries all over the world. Particularly in the last week, up to 10 countries have first recorded this virus strain.
The variant, named VOC 202012/01 or B.1.1.7, has been shown to be more transmissible than previous variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned last week: recent studies have shown that the strain could be more lethal, but WHO stressed Wednesday that “the result is preliminary and more feces are needed. area to attest ”.
In fact, all viruses mutate to adapt to their surroundings, and the SARS-CoV-2 virus has many variants. However, most of these variants do not significantly alter the properties of the virus.
Regarding variant 501.V2 discovered in South Africa in October, the WHO said the variant has spread to 31 countries.
Like the UK variant, the South African variant also has a mutation in the protein that helps the virus attach to the host cell and spread rapidly.
But studies have also shown that this variant “is less sensitive to antibody neutralization,” the WHO said.
This has raised concerns that the South African variant has a high risk of reinfection, which could also hinder the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine.
More studies are needed, the WHO says, but stresses that observational studies in South Africa do not indicate an increased risk of reinfection.
The third variant of the virus – called P1, which was discovered in Brazil – is now present in eight countries.
In the past week alone, the world has recorded 4.1 million new cases of COVID-19, and about 96,000 new deaths.
While the number of deaths was comparable to the previous week, the number of new cases dropped by 15%.
This is the second consecutive week the number of new cases has decreased, after peaking in the first week of January.
According to Straitstimes