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WHO official downplays coronavirus variant found in France

The variant was identified in 12 people in the southern Alps around the same time that omicron was discovered in South Africa last year

WHO discusses new Covid-19 variant with ‘unusual’ mutations

The new variant, called B.1.1529, carries an unusually large number of mutations

Vaccines will not keep people safe; basic health measures remain ‘foundation’ of response – WHO

For individuals, health measures mean avoiding crowds, physical distancing, hand hygiene, masks and ventilation