Is there a new COVID-19 variant in Europe? Why are the cases so high? – Community News
Covid-19

Is there a new COVID-19 variant in Europe? Why are the cases so high?

Europe must be aware of a possible new COVID-19 variant spreading through the region, according to one of Europe’s top economic experts.

Paolo Gentiloni, the EU’s economics and tax commissioner, said the pandemic is not over yet as the number of cases continues to rise in Europe, according to CNBC.

  • “It’s still the pandemic,” Gentiloni said per CNBC. “We have to be very careful with possible new variants and we have to strengthen the vaccination.”

Gentiloni said the emergence of new COVID-19 cases could also lead to new restrictions.

  • “They’re not going to have the same impact, the same economic impact as the last … our economy is more familiar with this kind of situation,” he added.

These comments come as a new COVID-19 variant has made headlines in Europe. The French newspaper Le Telegramme reported that a new variant — called B.1.X or B.1.640 — had some mutations in the spike protein that scientists have not seen before.

Cyrille Cohen, a professor at Bar-Ilan University in Israel, told The Jerusalem Post that the B.1.640 variant likely came from Africa and is a sign of what could happen if more people don’t get the COVID-19 vaccine.

  • “I don’t want to scare people,” he said. “There are now only a few cases of B.1.640 and we may very well forget about this variant in a month’s time.
  • “But it’s an example of what could happen if there isn’t access to vaccines for everyone.”

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