WHO team arrives in Wuhan

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The WHO team of researchers has arrived in Wuhan to investigate the origin of the pandemic

A WHO team of researchers has arrived in Wuhan, the place where it all began over a year ago. The delegation’s task is to investigate the origin of the virus and also to prevent other possible outbreaks. WHO spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic stated, for example, that it is ‘extremely important’ to understand the origin of the virus precisely to reduce future risk of outbreaks.

But the WHO researchers cannot focus solely on the original strain. Because of three new variants emerging in over 50 countries, the WHO remains highly alert. The first, out of the UK, resulted in worldwide flight bans. The WHO also confirmed the existence of two other variants, one from South Africa and one from Brazil.

‘We live in unprecedented times’

In WHO weekly update, the organisation remarked that the three variants all present variations to the protein code of the original strain. Therefore, transmissibility and immune system response to the new variants might differ greatly. The WHO team in Wuhan will investigate the origin spot in order to grasp knowledge of how this virus originated, mutated and became the threat we know today.

Of course, the WHO’s main worry is that these new variants won’t respond to the vaccines. But, again, there’s no evidence to such fear. Again, researchers highlight how a second generation of vaccines will be able to tackle a wider and more diverse symptomatology. Catalina Lopez-Correa, executive director of the Canadian COVID Genomics Network, stated that we are living in ‘unprecedented times’. ‘We’re actually now basically seeing biology and evolution of a virus in real time, day by day, as we speak’, she said. Because we are living and experiencing this in our present, it means we can control it. To sum up, while the WHO team in Wuhan uncovers the original mystery, we must act as responsible citizens. Respect regulations and restrictions, wear masks, and maintain social distancing as required, in order to overcome the pandemic.