With 22 countries in the Europe already reporting B117 variant cases, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) regional office today warned that it could replace other lineages and without extra efforts to control the spread of the more transmissible virus, could further strain health systems already facing pressure.

At a briefing today, Hans Henri Kluge, MD, MPH, said COVID-19 transmission has been sustained at very high levels across the region and that a quarter of countries have seen incidence rise by more than 10% over the last 2 weeks. He also said that a quarter of the regions countries area already reporting strained health systems.

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