According to the French Press Agency, the mutated versions of the emerging corona virus are highly contagious, especially the British and South African ones, and are spreading rapidly in the world. The number of countries in which the modified British version is spread has reached 50 countries, while the South African version is present in 20 countries, according to the World Health Organization, which indicated that the number may be higher.
A third version is currently being analyzed, originating in the Brazilian Amazon, and Japan announced its monitoring on Sunday, and it may affect the immune response to what the organization said, which spoke of a “disturbing copy”.
The organization’s expert committee, which usually meets every three months, two weeks before its meeting, has been summoned to discuss, in particular, these modified versions that require a “quick discussion.”
Recommendations for the World Health Organization and the member states will be issued at the conclusion of Thursday’s meeting, according to a WHO statement published in Geneva.
The world is witnessing a new wave of infections. China, where the virus first appeared at the end of 2019, announced Thursday that it had recorded the first death from “Covid-19” on its soil in eight months.
The National Health Commission said that the death was recorded in Hebei Province, in the north of the country, without further details. The authorities imposed a general closure in a number of cities in this province after the virus returned to spread there.
The last death from “Covid-19” was recorded in mainland China in May 2020. The authorities indicated 138 new infections in the country, the highest daily toll since March.
In parallel, a team of experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) arrived in Wuhan, China, to begin an investigation into the origin of the pandemic after they were subjected to a preventive quarantine.
In Asia, Japan also expanded the scope of the emergency to include, in addition to Tokyo and its suburbs, seven other provinces, with bars and restaurants closed in the evening.
Britain, which is witnessing the largest increase in infections and the highest death toll in Europe, with about 85,000 deaths, recorded 1564 new deaths on Wednesday, in the worst daily toll since the start of the pandemic.
As for Portugal, it imposed a complete closure again, starting from Friday, at a time when the virus is spreading rapidly, with more than 10 thousand new infections recorded on Wednesday among the population of ten million people.
In neighboring Spain, about 39 thousand new infections were recorded on Wednesday, which constitutes a “situation fraught with extreme dangers”, according to the Minister of Land Administration, Carolina Dares.
In Italy, the authorities announced the extension of the state of emergency until April 30, while France is holding its breath, with the unveiling of new measures Thursday to cope with the high number of infections that exceeded 23 thousand on Wednesday and the spread of the British version of the virus.
For its part, Tunisia re-imposes a four-day lockdown from Thursday to Sunday to slow the spread of “Covid-19”, which has reached record levels, leading to a “very dangerous” situation, according to the health authorities. Lebanon also re-imposes a general closure Thursday, after recording a record infection rate and several hospitals reaching their capacity.
In Africa, Mozambique announced the strengthening of restrictions due to the high number of infections.
The new Corona virus has caused the death of one million and 977 thousand people in the world since the WHO office in China reported the emergence of the disease at the end of December (December) 2019. And the epidemic has affected more than 3.92 million people.
In the face of the spread of the epidemic, governments are rushing to buy vaccines and provide them as quickly as possible. Britain intends to adopt vaccinations around the clock at “the earliest possible time”, with the aim of immunizing those over seventy and medical and health personnel, or about 15 million people, by mid-February. So far, 2.4 million people have been vaccinated.
The African Union obtained 270 million doses of vaccine for the continent, which most countries do not have the money to provide the vaccine to its citizens, as announced Wednesday evening South Africa, which holds the rotating presidency of the Union.
As for Brazil, it announced on Wednesday that two million doses of the “AstraZeneca – Oxford” vaccine will be flown from India to start vaccination by the end of this month.