Delta variant of COVID-19 detected in 74 countries

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The Delta variant of COVID-19, first identified in India, has been detected in 74 countries and continues to spread rapidly amid fears that it is poised to become the dominant strain across globe.

According to the health ministries of countries and dashboards of COVID-19, the outbreaks of the Delta variant have been confirmed in China, the US, Africa, Scandinavia and Pacific rim countries.

The health authorities around the world are collecting and sharing data on the spread of the new variant.

A Guardian report said that the Delta variant may already have spread much further than has been reported.

The Delta coronavirus variant doubles the risk of hospitalisation compared with the previously dominant variant in Britain, but two doses of vaccine still provide strong protection, a Scottish study found on Monday.

The study said early evidence suggested the protection from vaccines against the Delta variant might be lower than the effectiveness against the Alpha variant, first identified in Kent, southeast England.

The study, published in a research letter in the Lancet, looked at 19,543 community cases and 377 hospitalisations among 5.4 million people in Scotland, 7,723 cases and 134 hospitalisations of which were found to have the Delta variant.

In the US, according to the former Food and Drug Administration commissioner Scott Gottlieb, cases of the Delta variant are doubling roughly every 15 days and account for 10% of all new cases.

The World Health Organization designated Delta as a variant of interest in April and a variant of concern on 11 May. It appears to cause more severe symptoms, according to evidence seen from India and elsewhere, including stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, hearing loss and joint pain.