The World Health Organization is calling on its members in Europe to step up measures against coronavirus in the face of the new variant circulating in Britain, its European branch said.
Outside Britain, nine cases of the new strain have been reported in Denmark, as well as one case in the Netherlands and another in Australia, according to the WHO.
“Across Europe, where transmission is intense and widespread, countries need to redouble their control and prevention approaches,” said a spokeswoman for WHO Europe.
The UN agency urged its members worldwide to ” increase the sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 viruses where possible and sharing of sequence data internationally, in particular, to report if the same mutations of concern are found,” she said.
Britain reports record cases
The number of Covid-19 cases in Britain surged by 35,928, official data showed, the highest daily rise since the start of the pandemic.
There were also 326 deaths within 28 days of a positive test, lower than the 534 recorded on Saturday.
The government has toughened restrictions in London and southeast England to try to curb the spread of a new, fast-spreading variant of the virus.
France adds 12,799 new cases overnight
France reported 12,799 new confirmed Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours on Sunday, pushing the total of infections resulting from the new coronavirus to 2,473,354.
There were 131 deaths, bringing the total to 60,549.
Turkey reports over 20,000 new infections
Turkey has reported 20,316 more coronavirus infections, including 3,546 symptomatic patients, over the past 24 hours, according to Health Ministry data.
The total number of symptomatic patients reached over two million with the latest additions.
As many as 21,218 people also recovered over the past day, bringing the tally to 1.8 million, while the death toll climbed to 18,097 with 246 additions.
Nearly 159,000 Covid-19 tests were carried out across the country, pushing the total to over 22.44 million.
The number of patients in critical condition, meanwhile, stands at 5,347.
Italy reports 352 deaths and 15,104 new cases
Italy reported 352 coronavirus-related deaths against 553 the day before, the health ministry said, while the daily tally of new infections decreased to 15,104 from 16,308.
There were 137,420 swab tests carried out in the past day, down from a previous 176,185 the ministry said.
The first Western country hit by the virus, Italy has seen 68,799 Covid-19 fatalities since its outbreak emerged in February, the highest toll in Europe and the fifth-highest in the world. It has also registered more than 1.95 million cases t o date.
Dutch register record 13,032 new cases
Coronavirus cases in the Netherlands jumped by more than 13,000 in 24 hours to hit another record, data released by Dutch health authorities showed.
Covid-19 infections in the country have continued to rise despite new, stringent lockdown measures imposed by the government on Dec. 14 which included closing schools and shops.
The 13,302 new cases reported by the National Institute for Health on Sunday surpasses the previous record 12,779 recorded on Thursday.
Kuwait adds UK to its high-risk list of countries
Kuwait’s civil aviation authority added the United Kingdom to its high-risk list of countries, meaning all flights from it are banned, the authority wrote on Twitter.
In August, Kuwait banned commercial flights to 31 countries that it deemed high risk due to the spread of the coronavirus.
Second vaccine authorised in US ships out
Initial shipments of the second vaccine authorised in the US left a distribution centre, a desperately needed boost as the nation works to bring the coronavirus pandemic under control.
The trucks left the factory in the Memphis area with the vaccine developed by Moderna Inc. and the National Institutes of Health. The much-needed shots are expected to be given starting Monday, just three days after the Food and Drug Administration authorised their emergency rollout.
Later Sunday, an expert committee will debate who should be next in line for early doses of the Moderna vaccine and a similar one from Pfizer Inc. and Germany’s BioNTech. Pfizer’s shots were first shipped out a week ago and started being used the next day, kicking off the nation’s biggest vaccination drive.