Act now to stop variant spread: WHO - RTHK
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Act now to stop variant spread: WHO

2021-07-31 HKT 03:53
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  • Act now to stop variant spread: WHO
The Delta variant of Covid-19 is a warning to the world to suppress the virus quickly before it mutates again into something even worse, the WHO said Friday.

The highly-transmissible variant, first detected in India, has now surfaced in 132 countries and territories, the World Health Organisation said.

"Delta is a warning: it's a warning that the virus is evolving but it is also a call to action that we need to move now before more dangerous variants emerge," the WHO's emergencies director Michael Ryan told a press conference.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus added: "So far, four variants of concern have emerged – and there will be more as long as the virus continues to spread."

Tedros said that on average, infections increased by 80 percent over the past four weeks in five of the six WHO regions.

Though Delta has shaken many countries, Ryan said proven measures to bring transmission under control still worked – notably physical distancing, wearing masks, hand hygiene and avoiding long periods indoors in poorly ventilated, busy places.

"They are stopping the Delta strain, especially when you add in vaccination," he said.

"The virus has got fitter, the virus has got faster. The game plan still works, but we need to implement and execute our game plan much more efficiently and much more effectively then we've ever done before." (AFP)