WHO convenes emergency meeting over new strain of coronavirus - media

The World Health Organization (WHO) will hold an emergency meeting on Friday on the topic of a new strain of coronavirus found in South Africa and Botswana that may have increased mutation capacity. This was reported on Thursday by the Financial Times, reports with reference to TASS.

Tulio de Oliveira, director of South Africa's Center for Epidemic Response and Innovation, told the publication that earlier this week he expressed his concerns to WHO representatives about the spread of a new SARS-CoV-2 variant, designated B.1.1.529. According to him, after that it was decided to hold an emergency meeting. With reference to the WHO, which is headquartered in Geneva, the publication informs that the organization's experts will discuss whether to identify a new strain as an option of concern or an option of interest.

In WHO, the TASS correspondent could not officially confirm the fact of planning such an emergency meeting.

At a press conference in South Africa on Thursday, Tulio de Oliveira said that the new strain has a very large number of mutations, which "poses the threat of a rapid spread of infection."

According to the latest data, 77 people have been identified in South Africa who have this variant of coronavirus in their blood. Four more infected with B.1.1.529 were identified in Botswana, one in Hong Kong (this person came from South Africa).

British professor Tim Peacock, who studied the new strain, said that B.1.1.529 has 32 mutations in the protein compounds of the coronavirus spike. According to him, this gives the new variant of the coronavirus the ability to more easily penetrate the cells of the human body.

12:04,26 November 2021

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