WHO affirms that 22 European countries already have a new coronavirus variant
"We remain in the grip of covid-19 as cases in Europe increase, and we address the new challenges presented by the mutant virus," warned Hans Kluge, the agency's regional director for Europe.
The regional director for Europe of the World Health Organization (WHO), Hans Kluge, warned this Thursday at a press conference that European nations are at a "turning point" of the pandemic and has asked the leaders to "step up" their efforts to fight the virus.
"We remain in the grip of covid-19 as cases in Europe increase, and we address the new challenges presented by the mutant virus," Kluge warned.
In that sense, he explained that the new variant of the virus, which could be up to 70% more transmissible, has already been detected in 22 European countries.
The regional chief did not rule out that cases could continue to rise, noting the possible impact of family gatherings at Christmas and the drop in the number of tests during the festive period.
For her part, Catherine Smallwood, WHO high-level emergency officer, stressed that " the virus is improving ... and we have to do it too," explaining that reducing transmission should be the priority.