Daily Management Review

WHO: New strain of coronavirus found in 40 countries


Cases of infection with a new strain of coronavirus, detected in mid-December in the UK, were identified in 40 other countries. This is reported by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The WHO report indicates that as of January 5 the "UK" variant of the coronavirus "has been detected in a small number of cases in 40 other countries". The new strain has a higher rate of spread, but is no more dangerous than other variants of the virus that cause COVID-19, according to preliminary data obtained by WHO. 

WHO also reported that cases of another strain of the coronavirus found in South Africa had been detected in seven countries as of January 5. 

In all, cases of COVID-19 infection have been detected in 191 countries around the world, WHO added. More than 83 million cases of COVID-19 infection have been reported worldwide, and more than 1.8 million infected people died. For the third week in a row, more than 4 million new infections in seven days were reported worldwide. The number of new deaths in the past week rose 3% to 76,000. 

The discovery of a new strain of COVID-19 was announced by British authorities earlier in December. It was linked to a rapid rise in illness in the south of Britain which caused London to impose the toughest restrictions just before Christmas. Many countries in Europe, South America, the Middle East and Asia began to promptly stop and limit flights to the UK. 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the new version of the virus was first discovered in September and circulated among a small circle of people until mid-November. So far, he said, there is no indication that the new version of the infection results in a more severe course of the disease or a higher death rate. Nor is there any indication that the strain may be less susceptible to vaccines. The U.K. government added that PCR tests for coronavirus can be quickly adapted to the new variant. 

A nationwide quarantine has been in place in the U.K. since Jan. 5 because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

source: who.int