WHO: 13 Middle East nations report new variants

AP , Monday 15 Feb 2021

The director of WHO's eastern Mediterranean region, yet, did not name the countries

A group of medics from the Imam Khomeini Hospita, who volunteered to for receive the Russian Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, sit prior to being injected at a staged event, in Tehran, Iran, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021 AP

Coronavirus case numbers are stabilizing in parts of the Middle East but the situation remains critical, with more than a dozen countries reporting cases of new variants, the World Health Organization said Monday.

Ahmed al-Mandhari, director of WHO's eastern Mediterranean region, which comprises most of the Middle East, said in a press briefing from Cairo that at least one of the three new coronavirus variants was reported in the 13 countries in the region. He did not name the countries.

All three of the new variants are more contagious, according to WHO.

Al-Mandhari said there are nearly 6 million confirmed cases of coronavirus in the region and about 140,000 deaths. WHO urged people to continue taking precautionary measures against the virus.

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