European Leaders Highly Concerned By Spread of New Covid Strains

EUROPEAN LEADERS have expressed their extreme concerns over the spread of new Covid strains from Britain and South Africa.

During a video conference of the EU’s 27 nationals leaders, each member state agreed to boost antigen testing and genomic sequencing with the hope of gaining a better understanding of the new variants and their spread across the continent.

While it is understood the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine can innoculate patients infected with the British strain of the virus, it is unclear to what extent other variants from South Africa and Brazil will be resistant to vaccines.

European leaders were hopeful that once the larger numbers of vaccine doses become available the ambitious target of vaccinating 70% of the bloc’s adult population by the summer is possible.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the situation was extremely serious, although the rapid pace of vaccine rollouts over the coming weeks offered hope. Analysts have warned that should the new “mutant” strains become dominant in Europe, further travel restrictions and lockdowns could damage the bloc’s already ailing economy.

Across Europe, countries have been gripped by the third wave of the pandemic. Spain recently recorded an all-time high in daily infections, Ireland suffered the world’s fastest-growing outbreak after Christmas, France is currently in the grips of a strict national lockdown and Italy have extended their state of emergency until at least the summer.


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Written by

Oisin Sweeney

Oisin is an Irish writer based in Seville, the sunny capital of Andalucia. After starting his working life as a bookseller, he moved into journalism and cut his teeth as a reporter at one of Ireland's biggest news websites. Since joining Euro Weekly News in November, he has enjoyed covering the latest stories from Seville, Spain and further afield - with special interests in crime, cybersecurity, and European politics. Anyone who can pronounce his name first try gets a free cerveza...

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