WHO classifies triple-mutant Covid variant from India as global health risk

World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a press conference organised by the Geneva Association of United Nations Correspondents (ACANU) amid the COVID-19 outbreak, caused by the novel coronavirus, on July 3, 2020 at the WHO headquarters in Geneva.

A World Health Organization official said Monday it is reclassifying the highly contagious triple-mutant Covid variant spreading in India as a “variant of concern” at the global level.

Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s technical lead for Covid-19, said the agency will provide more details in its Situation Report on Tuesday but added the variant, known as B.1.617, is a global health threat.

“And as such we are classifying this as a variance of concern at the global level,” she said during a press conference. “Even though there is increased transmissibility demonstrated by some preliminary studies, we need much more information about this virus variant in this lineage in all of the sub lineages, so we need more sequencing targeted sequencing to be done.”

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