The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified lax social distancing measures and inequitable distribution of vaccines as the primary reasons for the highly contagious Delta variant of Sars-Cov-2 spreading to 124 countries.
The WHO stated on Wednesday (July 21) that the strain, first identified in India, may soon become the dominant one all over the world. As per the UN health agency’s latest assessment, the Delta strain “will rapidly outcompete other variants and become the dominant circulating lineage”.
The ‘variant of concern’ accounts for about 83% of cases in the United States. In the UK too it is the most dominant strain.
Over 3.4 million COVID cases were reported in the world from July 12 to July 18, a 12% increase as compared to the previous week. As many as 75% cases can be attributed to the Delta variant, the WHO said. Countries like India, Singapore, Britain, Bangladesh, Australia, Indonesia, South Africa, Russia and China seem to be worst affected by the ‘variant of concern’.
The Delta variant is considered the most serious one so far because of its highly contagious nature. Doctors say that those not vaccinated may be the worst affected. Studies suggest the Delta variant of Sars-Cov-2 is nearly 60 percent more transmissible than the Alpha variant first identified in the UK — which was 50 percent more transmissible than the original viral strain first detected in China.
Also read: Two-third of Indians have antibodies against COVID: ICMR serosurvey
According to the WHO, the COVID-19 case weekly incidence increased with an average of around 4,90,000 cases reported each day over the past week as compared to 40,00,00 cases daily in the previous week. Following a steady decline for over two months, the number of weekly deaths reported was similar to the previous week, with almost 57,000 deaths reported. The cumulative number of cases reported globally is now over 190 million and the number of deaths exceeds 4 million.