Delta Becoming Globally Dominant: WHO

The Delta variant, first identified in India, is becoming the globally dominant variant of the disease, the WHO’s chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan said on Friday.

Geneva: The Delta variant, first identified in India, is becoming the globally dominant variant of the disease, the WHO’s chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan said on Friday.

According to the Covid-19 Weekly Epidemiological Update issued by the WHO on June 15, the Delta variant is now being reported in about 80 countries around the world. Another 12 countries and areas are “reporting the detection of B.1.617 without further specification of lineage at this time.”

“The whole situation is so dynamic because of the variants that are now circulating and…the Delta variant is well on its way to becoming the dominant variant globally because of its significantly increased transmissibility,” Swaminathan said responding to a question at a press briefing.

Her remarks came hours after Public Health England said that the number of Delta variant cases has jumped by 33,630 in a week to hit a total of 75,953 in the UK, with the highly transmissible variant now making up 99% of all cases in the country. The rise was a 79% increase on the previous week’s tally. On Friday, vaccinations were opened up to all people over 18 in England.

In Washington, CDC director Rochelle Walensky said she expects the Delta variant will become the dominant coronavirus strain in the US. “As worrisome as this delta strain is with regard to its hyper transmissibility, our vaccines work,” Walensky told ABC News.

The Kremlin in Russia blamed a surge in cases on reluctance to have vaccinations and “nihilism” after a record 9,056 new infections in Moscow, mostly with the Delta variant, fanned fears of a third wave. “According to the latest data, 89.3% of Muscovites (recently) diagnosed with Covid-19 have the mutated, so-called Delta or Indian variant,” the news agency TASS quoted Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin as saying.

In Germany, top public health official predicted Delta would rapidly become the dominant variant there despite rising vaccination rates. Agencies

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