The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday that the new coronavirus strain first found in UK, has been detected in at least 60 countries.
In its weekly update, WHO said that the South African variant after first being reported to WHO on December 18, has been reported in 23 countries and territories. The South African variant like the UK strain is also believed to be more infectious.
The statement further said that the number of new coronavirus deaths climbed to a record high of 93,000 over the previous seven days, with 4.7 million new cases reported over the same period, Khaleej Times reported.
The orgaization believes that this new variant is more transmissible than variants circulating in South Africa previously. Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the incoming director for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that the coronavirus vaccine currently on the market, should still work against these new, more infectious variants.
“I’m really optimistic about how these variants are going to go. I could be wrong. It could be that we’ll find variants and variants may emerge … where the vaccine is less potent, but I’m still currently optimistic,” Walensky said.