Delta Covid variant now reported in 185 countries, says WHO

Geneva:  The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that the  Delta Covid variant is the current dominant strain of the infectious virus, with its presence reported in 185 countries, as of September 21, "The Delta variant now accounted for 90 per cent of the sequences submitted to Global Initiative on Sharing Avian Influenza Data (GISAID) with a sample collection date, between 15 June-15 September 2021.

According to Ms. Maria Van Kerkhove, the World Health Organisation's technical lead on Covid-19, "Less than one per cent each of Alpha, Beta and Gamma are currently circulating. It's really predominantly Delta around the world."  Delta "has become more fit, it is more transmissible and it is out-competing, it is replacing the other viruses that are circulating," she added.

Meanwhile, the UN health agency has revised the classification of Eta (detected in 81 countries), Iota (identified in at least 49 countries) and Kappa (spread to 57 countries) from variants of interest (VOI) to Variants Under Monitoring due to their substantial decline in the incidence worldwide. "The VOIs Eta (B.1.525), Iota (B.1.526) and Kappa (B.1.617.1) have been reclassified as 'former VOIs'. These will now be assessed as Variants Under Monitoring," the WHO said.

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