Health officials in the United States say the Delta variant of the coronavirus continues to spread and now accounts for about 83% of COVID-19 cases in the country.
This is a dramatic increase from the week of July 3, when the variant accounted for about 50% of coronavirus cases.
“The best way to stop the spread of COVID-19 variants is to prevent the spread of the disease and vaccination is the most powerful tool we have,” said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, during a U.S. Senate hearing Tuesday.
Senior U.S. infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said authorized COVID-19 vaccines in the country are more than 90% effective in preventing hospitalizations and deaths.
Dr. Walensky said deaths from COVID-19 in the U.S. averaged 239 per day over the past week, nearly 48% higher than the week a week earlier.
Delta is much more contagious than other variants of the coronavirus. It was first discovered in India, but has now been identified worldwide./VOA