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A healthcare worker administering a coronavirus test on a person in Slany, Czech Republic, on March 5. Photo: Milan Jaros/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The World Health Organization said this week that variants of the coronavirus are provoking another uptick in infections across Europe.

Why it matters: European countries reported around 1 million new cases last week, around a 9% increase from the week prior. Last week's surge ended a six-week decline in new infections, the WHO said Thursday, according to AP.

By the numbers: The variant first found in the United Kingdom, which may be more transmissible and more deadly than the original strain of the virus, is spreading in 27 European countries monitored by WHO, according to AP.

  • It's now the dominant strain in at least 10 countries: Britain, Denmark, Italy, Ireland, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Israel, Spain and Portugal.
  • Meanwhile, the variant first discovered in South Africa has been found in 26 European countries. Vaccine producers Moderna, Pfizer and Novavax have each reported their vaccines, while still effective, offer less protection against the South African variant.
  • The Brazilian variant, detected in 15 European countries, may be able to reinfect people who survived infections with earlier versions of the coronavirus, according to Reuters.

The big picture: Italy's government tightened coronavirus restrictions in some of its 20 regions this week in response to the surge.

Go deeper

What we know about the victims of the Indianapolis mass shooting

Officials load a body into a vehicle at the site of the mass shooting in Indianapolis. Photo:

Eight people who were killed along with several others who were injured in a Thursday evening shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis have been identified by local law enforcement.

The big picture: The Sikh Coalition said at least four of the eight victims were members of the Indianapolis Sikh community.

Pompeo, wife misused State Dept. resources, federal watchdog finds

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The State Department's independent watchdog found that former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo violated federal ethics rules when he and his wife asked department employees to perform personal tasks on more than 100 occasions, including picking up their dog and making private dinner reservations.

Why it matters: The report comes as Pompeo pours money into a new political group amid speculation about a possible 2024 presidential run.