WHO says new COVID strain in the UK ‘not out of control’

at 3:57 pm
WHO says new COVID strain in the UK not out of control
WHO's emergencies chief Michael Ryan

New Delhi (NVI): The new strain of coronavirus discovered in the United Kingdom is not yet out of control and can be controlled using existing measures, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said.

WHO’s emergencies chief Michael Ryan made this statement after the UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that the mutant coronavirus strain is ‘out of control’ which lead to global panic and concern.

Ryan in a media briefing stated that, “We have had a much higher (contamination rate) at different points in this pandemic and we’ve got it under control. So this situation is not in that sense out of control. But it cannot be left to its own devices,” he added.

Claiming that the existing measures in place are correct, Ryan said, “We need to do what we have been doing, we may just have to do it with a little more intensity and for a little longer to make sure we can bring this virus under control.”

He further added, “In some senses, it means we have to work harder. Even if the virus has become a little bit more efficient in spreading, the virus can be stopped.”

Separately, WHO Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan also claimed that a mutant strain could already be existing in other countries, according to the reports.

“I suspect that as more countries look at their data, they might find this variant or a related variant might already be there. The UK is one of those countries that is doing a lot of whole genome sequencing and is, therefore, able to track this very closely in real-time,” Swaminathan said.

However, she added that it was still too early to conclude anything about the new strain, the reports said.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson earlier had said that the new coronavirus variant in the country is 70 per cent more transmissible than the existing strain. But he stressed there’s no evidence to suggest it is more lethal or causes more severe illness.

Meanwhile, concerned by the new coronavirus strain in England, around 30 countries have shut there flights to and from the UK to contain the spread of virus.