The highly transmissible delta variant of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 disease, is now present in 124 countries and will become the dominant strain worldwide in the coming months as it outshines other variants , said the World Health Organization. Wednesday.
The variant was detected in 13 new countries during the week ending July 18, the agency said in its weekly epidemiological update. The global number of new COVID cases increased by 3.4 million during the week, up 12% from the previous week. The world added an average of 490,000 cases per day, up from 400,000 cases the previous week. The death toll has remained stable at nearly 57,000.
“At this rate, the cumulative number of reported cases worldwide is expected to exceed 200 million over the next three weeks,” the update said.
The other three “worrisome variants” are also spreading. The alpha variant, first detected in the UK, is now present in 180 countries, up from 172 last week; the beta variant, first detected in South Africa, is now present in 130 countries, up from 123 last week; and the gamma variant that was first found in Brazil is present in 78 countries, up from 75 last week.
The increases in transmission appear to be driven by the fact that these newer variants are more contagious, as well as by the relaxation of public health measures, greater
social mix, “and the large number of people who remain susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection due to an inequitable distribution of vaccines around the world,” WHO said, reiterating long-standing criticism. date on how the vaccine supply is managed around the world.
The delta variant is responsible for 83% of all sequenced COVID cases in the United States, according to the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, who testified in Congress on Tuesday alongside the head of the institute. National Allergies and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci.
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This makes it more urgent than ever for unvaccinated Americans to get vaccinated, as this group accounts for the vast majority of new cases, hospitalizations and deaths. And all three are on the rise again, with cases increasing in all 50 states.
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The seven-day average of new cases stood at 37,975 on Tuesday, according to a New York Times tracker, up 195% from two weeks ago. Hospitalizations stood at 25,295, up 46%, and deaths at 249, up 42% from two weeks ago.
And while those numbers are well below those reported at the height of the pandemic earlier this year, the delta variant is creating crises in several states with low vaccination rates, including Missouri, Arkansas, Florida and Louisiana. .
A doctor from Alabama shared on Facebook a poignant and heartbreaking story, as reported by the Alabama.com news site, of patients begging for a vaccine as they were about to be intubated. “I hold their hand and tell them I’m sorry, but it’s too late,” said Dr Brytney Cobia of Grandview Medical Center in Birmingham.
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The CDC’s vaccine tracker shows how few people are signing up for vaccines, despite the public education campaign. It shows that 161.6 million Americans are fully vaccinated, or 48.7% of the total population, up from 48.6% a day ago. This means that they received two injections of the vaccines developed by Pfizer PFE,
with the German partner BioNTech BNTX,
or Moderna mRNA,
or a photo of Johnson & Johnson JNJ,
single dose vaccine. AstraZeneca AZN,
vaccine that has been widely used in the UK and other places has not received emergency use authorization in the US
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There was disappointing news in a study that found the J&J vaccine to be much less effective against the delta variant than against the original virus.
The study, which looked at blood samples in the lab and has not yet been peer-reviewed, suggests that anyone who has received the J&J vaccine may need to receive a second injection as the variant continues to spread to patients. United States, as the New York Post and others have reported.
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“The message we wanted to get across was not that people shouldn’t get the J&J vaccine, but we hope that in the future it will be boosted either with another dose of J&J or with a boost with Pfizer. or Moderna, ”said the study leader. Nathaniel Landau, a virologist at NYU’s Grossman School of Medicine, reportedly told the New York Times.
Outside the United States, up to two-thirds of India’s population may have been infected with COVID-19, a government study suggested Tuesday, as AFP reported.
The blood serum survey of about 29,000 people in June and July showed that 67.6% of those tested had antibodies, according to a study conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research.
In Rome, cases have quintupled in the past nine days, an increase believed to be linked to celebrations following Italy’s recent European Football Championship, as reported by the Guardian.
Rome counted 557 new cases on Tuesday, up from 112 on July 11, the day Italy defeated England in the Euro 2020 final.
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South Korea recorded 1,784 new cases on Tuesday, a new one-day high, Reuters reported. About 40% of infections recorded last week were of the delta variant, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency.
The global tally of coronavirus-transmitted diseases topped 191.4 million on Wednesday, while the death toll topped 4.1 million, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University.
The United States leads the world with a total of 34 million cases and deaths with 609,549.
India is second by cases with 31.2 million and third by deaths with 418,480, according to its official figures, which should be underestimated.
Brazil is second in deaths with 544,180 but third in cases with 19.4 million.
Mexico has the fourth highest death toll with 236,810 but has recorded just 2.7 million cases, according to its official figures.
In Europe, Russia continues to lead the UK with 148,229 deaths, while the UK has 129,109, making Russia the country with the fifth death toll in the world and the highest in Europe.
China, where the virus was first discovered in late 2019, has recorded 104,362 confirmed cases and 4,848 deaths, according to its official figures, which are widely considered massively underreported.