New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Delta Variant of COVID-19, which is also known as B.1.617.2, has been spreading across the globe at an alarming rate, forcing countries to reimpose travel restrictions. The variant has so far been discovered in 96 countries, including India.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Delta Variant is the cause of the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in Europe. It said that Delta Variant cases have increased by 10 per cent in Europe over the past week.

It noted that the "Delta variant overtakes the Alpha very quickly through multiple and repeated introductions, and is already translating into increased hospitalisations and deaths".

In the United States too, the Delta Variant has emerged as the second most prevalent coronavirus mutation and is predicted to become the predominant one in the coming weeks.

"An estimated 25 percent of all reported SARS-COV-2 sequences nationwide are the Delta variants, and in some regions of the country, nearly one in two sequences is a Delta variant," said Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky.

In Africa, the Delta variant of COVID-19 has spread to 16 countries and it is present in three of the five nations reporting the highest caseloads, UN News reported. The variant is the most contagious yet - up to 60 percent more transmissible than other variants.

Along with Alpha and Beta, Delta is fuelling an aggressive third wave across Africa, with case numbers climbing faster than all earlier peaks, according to the WHO.

On Thursday, WHO experts warned that the numbers have increased for six consecutive weeks, up by 25 percent last week, reaching 202,000 positive cases. Deaths also rose by 15 percent across 38 African countries, to nearly 3,000.

Meanwhile, the WHO's chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan has said all COVID-19 vaccines that have been approved by the World Health Organization are effective at preventing severe disease and death caused by the highly contagious Delta variant.

"The good news is that all of the WHO emergency use listed vaccines do protect against developing severe disease, hospitalization and death due to the Delta variant," Swaminathan said.

(With inputs agencies)

Posted By: Mallika Mehzabeen