The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Tuesday said that there would be new pandemic-related challenges in 2021, such as mutations of the virus, and praised the role of science in overcoming them.
The Head of the WHO, Tedros Ghebreyesus, said:
“There will be setbacks & new challenges in 2021, like new variants of #COVID19.
“At present, we are working closely with scientists to better understand any & all changes to the virus & how these changes affect its ability to spread, or any potential impact on available tools.
“As the year closes and people around the world raise a toast to mark both the passing of the year and the dawn of a new one, I raise a toast to science.
“May we share its results (vaccines) fairly and equitably in the year ahead and together end the #COVID19 pandemic!” the WHO chief said on Twitter.
Earlier this month, UK health officials announced that the country had identified a new variant of the coronavirus that spreads faster than other SARS-CoV-2 virus strains.
Many countries have suspended passenger travel to and from the United Kingdom in a bid to prevent the import of the new virus strain.
The new coronavirus variant, which spreads more easily but does not appear to be more deadly or pose any concerns for vaccines.
The virus has already been detected in several countries, including Canada, Denmark, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, South Africa, Australia and South Korea.