Moscow, December 21: The detection of a new strain of coronavirus in the United Kingdom, which is spreading more rapidly than the original version, has sounded an alarm in countries across the world. Many countries, including India, have suspended flight to and from Britain after the emergence of the new mutated variant of coronavirus. Meanwhile, a representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Russia said there is no evidence that the new variant is more deadly. New Variant of Coronavirus Detected in UK, Netherlands and Belgium Suspend Flights From Britain; All You Need to Know.
"Now there is no evidence, there is not enough data to say that it affects the very pathogenicity, severe morbidity, mortality. There is no such data, this is not visible now," WHO official Melita Vujnovich told Rossiya-24 on Monday. The WHO had tweeted late on Saturday that it was "in close contact with UK officials on the new COVID-19 virus variant and promised to update governments and the public as more is learned". Harsh Vardhan on New Coronavirus Strain in UK, Says Govt Alert, No Need to Panic.
The new variant of coronavirus that causes COVID-19 infection, the discovery of which was announced by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on December 19, has spread quickly in London and south-east England. Johnson said that the newly identified strain of the virus may be up to 70 per cent more transmissible. UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock on Sunday said the new variant was "out of control".
Immediately Saudi Arabia and several European nations, including Italy, Belgium, France and the Netherlands banned flights to and fro from the UK after report of the mutant strain came to the fore. The UK has so far reported a total of 2,046,161 COVID-19 cases, while the death toll stood at 67,503.