The new coronavirus variant found in UK is not out of control yet, said the World Health Organization. “We have had a much higher (contamination rate) at different points in this pandemic and we’ve got it under control,” WHO’s emergencies chief Michael Ryan told a press conference.
“So this situation is not in that sense out of control. But it cannot be left to its own devices.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) will convene a meeting of members to discuss strategies to counter a new, more infectious coronavirus strain that emerged in Britain, its European chief said on Tuesday. He did not give a date for the meeting.
“Limiting travel to contain spread is prudent until we have better info. Supply chains for essential goods & essential travel should remain possible,” WHO Regional Director Hans Kluge said on Twitter, urging increased preventive measures. The Geneva-based body has cautioned against major alarm over the variant, saying it was a normal part of a pandemic’s evolution and praising Britain for detecting it.
In a statement on Tuesday, the WHO repeated that there was not yet enough information to determine whether the new variant could affect vaccine efficacy, saying researching was ongoing. Pfizer Inc and Moderna Inc are testing their Covid-19 vaccines against the new fast-spreading version of the virus that has emerged in Britain, CNN reported.
EU calls on member states to reopen transport links to UK
The European Commission called on member states to reopen critical trade and passenger transport links to the UK while discouraging non-essential travel.
The commission said in a statement that freight transport to and from the UK must be allowed to continue uninterrupted but that any unnecessary journeys should be avoided “until further notice.”
Confident shot will work on new strain: BioNTech
German pharmaceutical company BioNTech is confident that its coronavirus vaccine works against the new UK variant, but further studies are needed to be completely sure, its chief executive said Tuesday.
The variant has sparked concern worldwide because of signs that it may spread more easily.
BioNTech ready to boost vaccine capacity for 2021
BioNTech SE is pursuing all its options to make more Covid-19 vaccine doses than the 1.3 billion the companies have promised to produce next year, according to the German company’s chief executive officer. The firms will probably know by January or February whether and how many additional doses can be produced.