WHO : UK’s COVID-19 strain reported in at least 60 countries
The faster-spreading UK coronavirus variant has now been found in at least 60 countries, 10 more compared with a week ago, says the World Health Organization today (20).
The South African strain, 501Y.V2, is believed to be more infectious but does not appear deadlier and has now been reported in 23 countries and territories, the WHO said in its weekly update.
The number of new deaths climbed to a record high of 93,000 over the past seven days, with 4.7 million new cases over the same period.
The UK strain, first detected in mid-December, is thought by the WHO to be between 50-70 percent more infectious than the original.
The strains share a common mutation, which scientists call N501Y. This is a slight alteration on one spot of the spike protein coating the virus. That change is believed to be the reason these strains can spread so easily.