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