The World Health Organization has added a coronavirus variant first detected in India to its list of variants of global concern, amid reports suggesting its high transmissibility.
Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO technical lead on COVID-19, spoke to reporters on Monday about the variant first identified in India, where more than 360,000 new cases are being reported each day.
She said there is some information suggesting that the variant in question has increased transmissibility.
It is the fourth coronavirus variant to be added to the list, after the three first confirmed in Britain, South Africa and Brazil.
Van Kerkhove said her team is collecting more information and will disclose all it knows about the variant on Tuesday.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus revealed that the WHO Foundation, which was set up last year, has begun an online campaign to raise funds to help India purchase medical oxygen and medicines.