Delta variant spreading rapidly, expected to be dominant strain worldwide: WHO

New Delhi: The Delta variant is ripping around the world at a scorching pace, driving a new spike in cases and deaths, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said, warning that the variant, now in over 104 countries, is expected to soon be the dominant COVID strain circulating worldwide, news agency PTI reported.

The report quoting Ghebreyesus while addressing a press briefing on Monday, said that last week marked the fourth consecutive week of increasing cases of COVID globally, with increases recorded in all but one of WHO’s six regions, adding with concern that after 10 weeks of declines, deaths are increasing again.

“The Delta variant is ripping around the world at a scorching pace, driving a new spike in cases and death,” the Director-General of the World Health Organisation said.

“Delta is now in more than 104 countries and we expect it to soon be the dominant COVID strain circulating worldwide,” he said adding that the world is watching in real-time as the Covid-19 virus continues to change and become more transmissible, the report said.

“My message today is that we are experiencing a worsening public health emergency that further threatens lives, livelihoods and a sound global economic recovery. It is definitely worse in places that have very few vaccines, but the pandemic is not over anywhere,” he said, underscoring that the world should battle together to put out this pandemic inferno everywhere.

Noting that as the Delta variant spreads, not everywhere is taking the same hit, the WHO chief was quoted by news agency as saying “we’re in the midst of a growing two-track pandemic where the haves and have-nots within and between countries are increasingly divergent.”

In places with high vaccination coverage, Delta, first detected in India, is spreading quickly; “especially infecting unprotected and vulnerable people and steadily putting pressure back on health systems.”

In countries with low vaccine coverage, the situation is “particularly bad”, he warned, stressing that Delta and other highly transmissible variants are driving catastrophic waves of case, which are translating into high numbers of hospitalizations and death.

“Even countries that successfully managed to ward off the early waves of the virus, through public health measures alone, are now in the midst of devastating outbreaks.”


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