The Delta COVID-19 variant has been identified in 111 countries, territories, or areas so far, and is on its way to becoming the dominant strain of the virus globally, causing an increase in new infections and deaths, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Ecuador are among the 15 countries that have reported their first cases of the highly infectious variant in the last week, according to a statement issued by the WHO on Wednesday.
COVID-19 cases have increased globally in the last week, according to WHO data.
The statement came two days after WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned of “devastating outbreaks” caused by the Delta variant, saying the virus was infecting people “at a scorching pace.”
Leaders around the world have reacted to the new surge in infections in a variety of ways, with some countries imposing new restrictions while others relax them.
The United Kingdom, for example, still intends to lift all restrictions on July 19.
According to the Johns Hopkins University, the global COVID-19 caseload has surpassed 188.2 million, with over 4.05 million deaths and over 3.49 billion vaccinations.
The latest update from the University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) on Thursday morning revealed that the current global caseload, death toll, and total number of vaccine doses administered were 188,284,090, 4,057,061 and 3,496,851,294, respectively.
According to the CSSE, the United States remains the worst-affected country, with the most cases and deaths (33,946,217 and 608,104, respectively).