Copenhagen, January 7 Kluger, director of the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe, said at an online press conference in Copenhagen on the 7th that entering 2021, the world has new tools such as vaccines to deal with the coronavirus epidemic, but at the same time faces new challenges such as virus mutation.
Of the 53 countries under the responsibility of the WHO Regional Office for Europe, 22 countries have found mutant strains of COVID-19, Kluger said.
Mutant viruses are more infectious, and the severity of the disease has not changed. If controls are not strengthened to slow its spread, it will have a greater impact on the currently under pressure on the health care system.
He called on countries to be vigilant, investigate and track abnormally rapid-spreading events, unexpected disease manifestations or severe diseases, strengthen systematic sequencing of mutant viruses and use sequencing data to promote early prevention, and share more data.
According to data from the WHO Regional Office for Europe, more than 230 million people in the European region are currently living in a national lockdown, and some countries will announce lockdown measures in the next few weeks.
More than a quarter of European countries have very high rates of COVID-19 infection, and the health care system is under great pressure.
Kluger called on countries to continue to wear masks, limit the number of social gatherings, social distance and wash hands, supplemented by appropriate virus testing and tracking.