WHO says C.1.2. COVID-19 variant does not seem to be spreading

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Oldham
A man wearing a protective face mask walks past an illustration of a virus outside a regional science centre amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Oldham, Britain August 3, 2020. REUTERS/Phil Noble/

GENEVA, Aug 31 (Reuters) - A new coronavirus variant that was first detected in South Africa in May does not appear to be spreading, the World Health Organisation said on Tuesday, adding it was monitoring the variant as the virus evolves.

"It does not appear to be increasing in circulation," WHO spokesperson Margaret Harris told a U.N. briefing, adding the variant labelled C.1.2. was not currently classified as a "variant of concern" by the U.N. health agency.

Reporting by Emma Thomasson; editing by Stephanie Nebehay

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