WHO: British and South African strains of COVID present in dozens of countries

WHO: British and South African strains of COVID present in dozens of countries

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Geneva, Jan 18 – British and South African variants of the coronavirus that cause COVID-19, more contagious than the original strain, have already been identified in dozens of countries, while the possible Brazilian mutation is being investigated, they said today experts from the World Health Organization (WHO).

The director of Health Emergencies of the WHO, the Irishman Mike Ryan, declared in his intervention in the Executive Committee of the organization that the British variant has already been identified in 58 countries on four continents, and the South African in 22.
When reviewing the current situation of the pandemic, before experts from all over the world, Ryan stressed that last week a record number of 93,000 deaths from COVID-19 was reached on the planet, and it is feared that this week the 100,000.
America, where the graphs of cases and deaths continue to rise, concentrates 47% of the deaths in the pandemic, while in Europe the figures have stabilized, but remain high.
The current epidemiological situation “is getting complicated due to the variants (of the virus), but despite this, many countries are controlling the levels of contagion,” he stressed.
The emergency director also stressed that many health networks continue to endure “extreme pressure”, while the systems for monitoring new cases “are finding it difficult to withstand the high levels of infection” and misinformation “continues to hinder the application of measures.” .
WHO adviser for COVID-19, Bruce Aylward, added that in the 42 days since the start of global vaccination campaigns, some 40 million doses have been delivered in 50 countries.
The most widely used vaccine is that of Pfizer-BioNTech (used in 44 countries that have started their immunization campaigns), followed by Moderna (six).
The Russian vaccine Sputnik V (from Ganaleya laboratories) and the Chinese one from Sinopharm have been implanted in three countries, while those from Sinovac and AstraZeneca are being administered in two (some countries allow the use of more than one manufacturer).
Aylward insisted that the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, which use the new “messenger RNA” technology, present challenges when it comes to being taken to developing countries, as they require special syringes and storage at very low temperatures.
 

Ben Oakley
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