Delta variant on its way to becoming dominant variant globally

UNITED NATIONS/GENEVA: The COVID-19 Delta variant, which was first identified in India, is becoming the dominant variant globally because of its significantly increased transmissibility, WHO 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 B.1.617.2 Delta variant was first detected in India around October 2020.

“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 in Geneva on Friday.

Her remarks came hours after Public Health England (PHE) said that the number of Delta variant infections 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 per cent of all COVID-19 cases in the country.

In Washington, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky said she expects the Delta variant will become the dominant coronavirus strain in the United States.

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