WHO: Delta virus variant hits 74 economies

The World Health Organization says the coronavirus variant known as Delta, first confirmed in India, has now been found in 74 countries and territories.

The WHO released its latest weekly COVID-19 epidemiological update on Tuesday.

The report says that as of Tuesday, the number of countries, territories and areas reporting cases involving the Delta variant was up 12 from a week earlier.

Last month the WHO began identifying coronavirus variants with letters of the Greek alphabet, to prevent discrimination against countries where they were first detected.

The WHO also says the number of countries and territories reporting the Alpha variant, which was identified in Britain, was up one from a week earlier, to 161. The number involving the Beta variant, first detected in South Africa, was up two, to 115.

The report says the number of countries and territories reporting the Gamma variant, first confirmed in Brazil, remained unchanged at 64.

The WHO says global case and death incidences continued to decrease, while some countries in Asia and Africa reported increases compared to the previous week.

It says implementing antivirus measures across communities remains crucial in containing the spread of variants.