(06 July 2021) According to GISAID Initiative, the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2, first found in India in April 2021, had been detected at least in 80 countries by the end of June. The Delta* variant is considered by scientists to be more contagious than the COVID-19 strains identified previously. According to a statement from the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modeling, Operational sub-group (SPI-M-O), the Delta variant can have a 40% transmission advantage over the Alpha variant, which was already 50% more transmittable that the strain first registered in China in the end of 2019.

Cross-country comparisons between the spread of the Delta variant, measured by the share of SARS-CoV-2 samples sequenced from June 1 to June 29 that were identified as a Delta variant, and growth in new COVID-19 cases and deaths suggests that the Delta variant is contributing to new COVID-19 upsurges: 

  • In 50% of countries (6 out of 12) where the Delta variant share of sequenced SARS-CoV-2 samples exceeds 80%, the number of daily COVID-19 cases increased over the last three weeks, with increases ranging from 120% to 340%. In the remaining six countries with a high percentage of Delta variants, the number of new daily cases held steady or decreased slightly.
  • Growth in new COVID cases was observed in 38% of countries (3 out of 8) where the Delta variant share ranges between 50% and 70% of the sequenced samples.
  • Only 25% of the 60 countries where the Delta variant share among sequenced samples is below 40% saw an increase in the number of new daily COVID-19 cases over the same time period. 

*Includes the Delta and Delta Plus variants

Coronavirus Data and Insights

Live data and insights on Coronavirus around the world, including detailed statistics for the US, EU, and China — confirmed and recovered cases, deaths, alternative data on economic activities, customer behavior, supply chains, and more.

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