WHO assesses danger of new coronavirus mutation

WHO assesses danger of new coronavirus mutation

The new mutation strain of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus found in the United Kingdom is more contagious but overall does not change the danger level of the disease. That’s how David Nabarro, the World Health Organization (WHO) special envoy for the global fight against COVID-19, assessed it.

“It is more contagious, but it does not appear to be more dangerous,” the publication quotes him as saying. Nabarro stressed that people should remain cautious, but no radical changes in priorities and ways of fighting the epidemic because of the new strain are expected.

A day earlier, the WHO sounded a similar preliminary assessment: the existing data show that the mutation is unlikely to make the virus more dangerous than it was before.

Earlier UK Health Secretary Matthew Hancock said that a new strain of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus had been detected in the country and was spreading faster than the original form. He said there is no evidence that it is more deadly than known strains of SARS-CoV-2 and is resistant to vaccines. At the same time, it is more easily transmitted from person to person and therefore more contagious.

According to the Johns Hopkins Institute as of Dec. 15, there are more than 72.9 million people worldwide infected with the coronavirus, of whom more than 1.62 million have died and another 41.3 million have recovered. The U.S., India, Brazil, Russia and France have the most infections.