‘Delta’ becoming dominant COVID-19 variant globally: WHO
Published: 12:31 PM, 19 June 2021
World Health Organization`s chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan
The Delta variant of COVID-19, the highly contagious variant first detected in India, tends to become the dominant strain worldwide, the World Health Organization’s chief scientist said on Friday.
“The Delta variant is well on its way to becoming the dominant variant globally because of its increased transmissibility,” Soumya Swaminathan said during a news conference at WHO’s Geneva headquarters.
According to studies, delta is around 60% more transmissible than alpha, the variant first identified in the United Kingdom that was more contagious than the original strain that emerged from Wuhan in China in late 2019.
The situation globally “is so dynamic because of the variants that are circulating,” she added.
The variant has spread to more than 80 countries and it continues to mutate as it spreads across the globe, the WHO said on Wednesday.
It now makes up 10% of all new cases in the United States, up from 6% last week, said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Meanwhile, the UK recently saw the delta variant become the dominant strain there, surpassing alpha, which was first detected in the country last fall. The delta variant now makes up more than 60% of new cases in the UK.
The WHO declared delta a “variant of concern” last month. A variant can be labeled as “of concern” if it has been shown to be more contagious, more deadly or more resistant to current vaccines and treatments, according to the health organization. - TASS, CNBC