The World Health Organization‘s (WHO) emergency committee has warned that new and more threatening variants of coronavirus may emerge in the near future. The committee said that the world can expect new concerning variants that can cause another wave of COVID-19. This will make the process of curbing the pandemic even harder.
“The pandemic is nowhere near finished,” the committee said in a statement, highlighting “the strong likelihood for the emergence and global spread of new and possibly more dangerous variants of concern that may be even more challenging to control”.
The response came at the backdrop of a reporters’ question about the developing new trends of COVID-19.
Committee chairman Didier Houssin acknowledged the question and said that the “recent trends are worrying”.
He said a year-and-a-half after the WHO first declared a so-called Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) — its highest alert level — “we are still running after this virus and the virus is still running after us”.
The committee also warned that worse could lie ahead, pointing to “the strong likelihood for the emergence and global spread of new and possibly more dangerous variants of concern that may be even more challenging to control”.
As of now several variants of COVID-19 have been identified out of which four are the variants of concern. These are- Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and the rapidly spreading Delta variant.
The new and highly contagious Delta variant continues to be a cause of concern for health experts and countries like the US and New Zealand that were either untouched by COVID ravages or could manage to come out of it due to mass vaccination.
The Delta variant was responsible for deadly waves of COVID-19 in India, the UK, and European countries that are still reeling with the rampageous effect of coronavirus.
Delta variant, which was first detected in India, is to be a lung attacker and damages the organ causing the oxygen level to drop down drastically. This is why we had witnessed a shortage of oxygen cylinders across the world during these waves.
This variant according to scientists has now mutated itself into another variant called the Delta Plus variant. Scientists across the world, however, are still divided on whether or not it is more contagious and dangerous. It is said to be a concerning trend in COVID-19 developement.
Several studies suggest that the Delta variant and its mutated forms are resistant to COVID-19 vaccines that are humans’ only hope against this virus.