WHO calls meet on new coronavirus strain, European head urges more preventive steps

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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.

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He did not give a date for the meeting.

WHO Regional Director Hans Kluge said on Twitter that the organization was closely monitoring the spread of the new variant and would in response “convene member states to discuss strategies for testing, reducing transmission & communicating risks.”

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“Limiting travel to contain spread is prudent until we have better info. Supply chains for essential goods & essential travel should remain possible,” Kluge said, urging increased preventive measures.

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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.

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