More countries, territories report Covid variants: WHO

Washington, Aug 12 (IANS): The number of countries, areas or territories reporting various variants of Covid-19 has continued to increase after the global infection tally surpassed the 200 million mark last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.

In its latest weekly update on the pandemic issued on Wednesday, the WHO said that globally, cases of the Alpha variant have been reported in 185 countries, territories or areas (hereafter CTAs), 136 CTAs have reported cases of the Beta variant, 81 CTAs have reported cases of the Gamma variant, and 142 CTAs have reported cases of the Delta variant, reports Xinhua news agency.

On August 5, the cumulative number of Covid-19 cases globally surpassed 200 million, just six months after reaching 100 million cases.

During the past week, according to WHO figures, over 4.2 million new cases and over 65,000 new deaths were reported globally, a slight increase compared to the previous week.

The largest proportionate increases in new cases were reported by the Region of the Americas and the Western Pacific Region, with 1.3 million and over 375,000 new cases reported, respectively.

The WHO added that a substantial increase in the number of new deaths was reported this week in the Western Pacific Region.

Of all the WHO member states and territories, 17 per cent reported more than 50 per cent increase in new cases as compared to the previous week, and 15 per cent registered more than 50 per cent rise in new deaths, the WHO noted.

According to the latest WHO weekly update, at the country level, the highest numbers of new cases were reported from the US, with 734,354 new cases or a 35 per cent increase compared to the previous week.

As of Thursday morning, the global coronavirus caseload, death toll and vaccination tally stood at 204,626,055, 4,323,778 and 4,527,816,903, according to the Johns Hopkins University.



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