New strain of coronavirus detected in 8 European countries – Mint

GENEVA [SWITZERLAND] :
The new strain of the coronavirus has been detected in eight European countries, the regional director of WHO Europe said, adding that World Health Organisation (WHO) is continuing to monitor the situation.

While stressing on the need to boost the protective measures, Hans Kluge, WHO’s Regional Director for Europe said the new strain seems to be spreading among younger age groups, unlike the previous strains.

“8 countries in the @WHO_Europe region have now identified the new COVID-19 variant VOC-202012/01. It is vital to strengthen existing protective measures: distancing/masks/staying in core support bubbles. WHO is continuing to monitor and will provide updates,” Hans Kluge tweeted.

“The variant also seems to be spreading among younger age groups, unlike previous strains. Vigilance is important while research is ongoing to define its impact,” Kluge said in a subsequent tweet.

Last week, the new strain of the coronavirus was firstly detected in the United Kingdom. As per the experts, this type of infection is more transmissible than other SARS-CoV-2 variants. Following the arrival of the new strain, several countries introduced new travel restrictions.

The WHO on March 11 had declared the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak a global pandemic.

According to Johns Hopkins University, 79,712,010 cases and 1,747,790 deaths have been reported globally. The United States continues to the worst affected country by the pandemic, followed by India and Brazil.

Meanwhile, a group of scientists in the US, including an Indian-American from the prestigious Cleveland Clinic, have identified a potential new class of drugs that may prove effective in treating certain common types of blood and bone marrow cancers.

First published in the latest edition of Blood Cancer Discovery, the decade long research which reports that a new pharmacological strategy to preferentially target and eliminate leukemia cells with TET2 mutations, was carried out by Jaroslaw Maciejewski and his collaborator Babal Kant Jha from the Cleveland Clinic Department of Translational Hematology & Oncology Research.

Myeloid leukemias are cancers derived from stem and progenitor cells in the bone marrow that give rise to all normal blood cells. One of the most common mutations involved in driving myeloid leukemias are found in the TET2 gene, which has been investigated for the last decade by Maciejewski and Jha.

*With inputs from agencies

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