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Coronavirus

Delta variant begins to spread, threatening EU's COVID progress

Strain that swept UK appeared in clusters across Germany, France and Spain

Pediatric nurse Jenny gives a Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine injection during vaccination at a bar, which has been able to reopen after restrictions were eased in Berlin on June 13.   © Reuters

PARIS/LONDON (Financial Times) -- The Delta coronavirus variant that swept the UK has become dominant in Portugal and appeared in clusters across Germany, France and Spain, prompting European health officials to warn further action is needed to slow its spread.

While the new strain, which first emerged in India, still only accounts for a fraction of the total coronavirus cases in mainland Europe, it is gaining ground, according to a Financial Times analysis of global genomic data from the virus tracking database Gisaid. It accounts for 96 per cent of sequenced COVID-19 infections in Portugal, more than 20 per cent in Italy and about 16 per cent in Belgium, the FT's calculations show.

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