WHO: COVID-19 Indian variant spreads to at least 53 countries and regions

The World Health Organization (WHO) today reported that the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) variant B.1.617, first identified in India, has now been officially confirmed to be present in 53 countries.

In addition, WHO has also received information from unofficial sources that the B.1.617 variant that ravaged India has been found in seven other countries and territories, bringing the total number of countries and territories where the Indian variant is present to 60, according to WHO’s weekly epidemiological data update.

The report notes that B.1.617 has demonstrated increased infectiousness, and that the severity of the disease and the risk of infection are still under investigation.

The number of confirmed cases and deaths worldwide continued to decline over the past week, with a total of approximately 4.1 million new cases and 84,000 new deaths reported, a decrease of 14% and 2%, respectively, compared to the previous week.

The WHO European region has reported the largest decline in the number of new cases and deaths over the past seven days, followed by the Southeast Asian region.

The number of cases reported in the Americas, Eastern Mediterranean, Africa and Western Pacific regions was similar to the previous week.

The report notes that although the global epidemic has shown a downward trend over the past four weeks, the incidence of COVID-19 cases and deaths remain high, with many countries still experiencing significant increases in numbers.