NewsWorld News

Monitoring of New COVID-19 Variant Underway by WHO and US Health Authorities

By Ologeh Joseph Chibu

On Friday, both the World Health Organization (WHO) and health authorities in the United States declared their vigilant observation of a novel Covid-19 variant named BA.2.86. Presently, the potential impact of this variant remains uncertain.

The WHO has categorized this new variant as one under surveillance due to the significant presence of spike gene mutations, exceeding 30 in number, as outlined in a pandemic bulletin released late Thursday.

As of now, the variant has been identified exclusively in Israel, Denmark, and the United States.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have affirmed their close monitoring of this variant. They conveyed this update through a message posted on the social platform X, formerly recognized as Twitter.

It’s important to note that only four sequences of this variant are currently known, according to information provided by the WHO.

“The potential impact of the BA.2.86 mutations are presently unknown and undergoing careful assessment,” the WHO said.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is presently overseeing the monitoring of over 10 variants along with their corresponding lineages.

Numerous nations that had established virus surveillance systems have subsequently dismantled these operations, deeming the virus less severe and therefore not justifying the associated expenses. This decision has been criticized by the WHO, which is advocating for enhanced monitoring efforts.

In the recent reporting period spanning from July 17 to August 13, a WHO statement revealed the identification of over 1.4 million fresh COVID-19 cases and reported more than 2,300 deaths.

Comparing this period to the preceding 28 days, the caseload has increased by 63%, while deaths have decreased by 56%.

As of August 13, the confirmed global count for COVID-19 cases exceeded 769 million, with documented deaths surpassing 6.9 million. However, these figures are believed to underestimate the true toll due to numerous undetected cases.

Source: AFP

Related Articles

Back to top button