New Coronavirus Strain: WHO to call emergency meeting

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The World Health Organization (WHO) will hold an emergency meeting on the new coronavirus strain discovered in Africa, which may have an increased mutability, on Friday, the Financial Times has reported.

According to Tulio de Oliveira, the director of the Centre for Epidemic Response and Innovation in South Africa, he expressed his concerns about the SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.1.529 to the WHO representatives.

After that, the Organization decided to hold an emergency meeting, he told the Financial Times. The Organization’s experts will reportedly discuss whether the new strain should be defined as “concern” or “interest.”

The Organization was unable to officially confirm these plans for TASS.

During a press conference Thursday, Tulio de Oliveira said that the new strain has a very high number of mutations, which poses a risk of a rapid spread of the disease.

According to the latest data, a total of 77 people in South Africa were diagnosed with this coronavirus variant. Four people were diagnosed in Botswana and one – in Hong Kong (a person that came from South Africa).