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WHO experts warn 'more dangerous' Covid-19 variants could take hold

GENEVA (AFP) - The World Health Organisation's emergency committee warned on Thursday (July 15) that new and more dangerous Covid-19 variants were expected to spread around the world, making it harder to halt the pandemic.

The announcement was further bad news as several countries battle a new wave of infections fanned by new variants, namely Delta which was first identified in India.

"The pandemic is nowhere near finished," the committee warned in a statement on Thursday following a meeting a day earlier.

Committee chairman Didier Houssin acknowledged to reporters that "recent trends are worrying".

He said a year-and-a half after the WHO first declared a so-called Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) - its highest alert level - "we are still running after this virus and the virus is still running after us".

For now, four concerning variants of Covid-19 are dominating the global pandemic picture: Alpha, Beta, Gamma and especially the rapidly spreading Delta variant.

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