UK coronavirus variant detected in at least 60 countries – WHO
Pretoria - The new and fast-spreading UK coronavirus variant has now been found in at least 60 countries, 10 more compared with a week ago, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday.
The health agency said the South African variant, which like the UK strain is believed to be more infectious, has now been reported in 23 countries and territories.
The UK variant is thought by the WHO to be between 50% and 70% more infectious than the original.
CNN reported that among the countries which have reported cases of the UK variant, which was detected in mid-December, are the United States, Russia, Brazil, India and Spain.
According to the US broadcaster, on Monday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that at least 122 cases of the UK variant had been identified in 20 US states.
The US remains the world’s worst outbreak in overall numbers. On Tuesday, the death toll had surpassed 400,000.
The Vox reported that the disease has killed more Americans than World War II during its four years.
The American online news publication said the number of deaths during the Covid-19 pandemic is closer to 500,000.
Some of the additional 100,000 deaths may not be from the coronavirus. The publication said they could, instead, be people who weren’t able to get access to adequate medical care because health systems have been strained by the pandemic.
As US President-elect Joe Biden prepares to settle into the White House, Al Jazeera reported that he has made it clear that he won’t be taking any chances in combating the virus after his inauguration on Wednesday.
Biden has promised to pass a bill allocating more funding for the Covid-19 response and to fix the nation’s troubled vaccine roll-out.
– African News Agency (ANA); Editing by Yaron Blecher