The UK coronavirus strain has spread to at least 60 countries, the World Health Organization reported on Wednesday, after US President-elect Joe Biden led a moving tribute to American victims.
Since it was first discovered in the Chinese city of Wuhan more than a year ago, Covid-19 has taken more than two million lives globally, while the overall number of confirmed cases is around 100 million, according to an AFP count.
The arrival in the United States, Europe, and Asia of mass inoculation
drives had brought hope that the end of the epidemic was in sight.
But profound anxiety about new strains of the deadly pathogen has prompted policymakers around the world to tighten controls on restriction-weary populations as authorities are concerned with how to slow outbreaks before vaccines are readily available.
The WHO revealed in its weekly update that the strain first detected in
the UK has now been found in 10 more countries than seven days earlier.
It claimed that 23 countries and territories have recorded the
South African version, which is similarly believed to be more transmissible.
Over the previous week, the number of new deaths increased to a record high of 93,000, with 4.7 million new cases registered over the same period, it added.