Spread of new strains unlikely to trigger another COVID-19 wave, WHO says
- 11 February 2021
The spread of coronavirus strains will not spark a new pandemic wave, Regional Director for Europe at the World Health Organization Hans Kluge said in an interview with the Spanish El Pais newspaper on Thursday, APA reports citing TASS.
"New COVID-19 variants are a painful reminder that the virus is still hitting us," he said. "But this is not a new type of virus, it is a normal evolution of any pathogen that tries to adapt to its owner - a human." "This is not the start of a new pandemic, however, we definitely have to be very vigilant," Kluge went on to say.
According to Kluge, vigilance is essential in this situation as new COVID-19 strains can cause re-infection and a faster spread of the virus, making it rather challenging for some countries’ healthcare systems to cope with the pandemic.
"And finally, because they [new strains - TASS] can affect the vaccines efficiency," the WHO official noted. "We have faced it dealing with the common flu, there may be some variants of the virus that require a slightly different vaccine," Kluge explained. "We have to remain vigilant. If we have a faster virus spread and the increased mobility of vaccinated people, we are likely to have a rise in mortality," he stated.