Covid Delta variant spreads to 132 countries: WHO
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The global number of new COVID-19 cases reported last week (19-25 July) was over 3.8 million, an 8 percent increase as compared to the previous week, the UN health agency reported. The latest data from the World Health Organization (WHO) showed a substantial uptick in the Americas and the Western Pacific, which jumped 30 percent and 25 percent, respectively.

An average of around 540 000 cases was reported globally each day over the past week as compared to 490 000 cases reported daily the week before. The number of deaths reported this week increased sharply with over 69 000 deaths, a 21 percent increase when compared to the previous week. The cumulative number of cases and deaths reported globally is almost 194 million and over 4 million respectively.

WHO said that over the seven days, the highest number of new cases was reported in the United States, which saw more than half a million new infections, representing a skyrocketing 131 per cent increase. According to WHO's data, this rise was followed by Brazil - 324,334 new cases; Indonesia - 289,029 new cases; the United Kingdom - 282,920 new cases; and India - 265,836 new cases.

"In the last week, global COVID19 cases increased by ~6.5% and deaths increased by ~20.6% Last week more than 69,000 people died. This is an absolute travesty because we can prevent deaths," said Maria Van Kerkhove, COVID-19 Technical Lead at WHO. The global total of 195,266,156 confirmed COVID-19 includes 4.1 million deaths. As of Monday, almost 3.7 billion vaccine doses have been administered.

Of the four COVID-19 mutations that WHO has designated "variants of concern", the UN agency said that the Alpha variant is present in 182 countries, Beta is in 131, Gamma in 81 and after reaching eight new countries in the past week, the Delta variant is now in 132 countries.