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June 16, 2021, 6:36 a.m. EDT

Coronavirus tally: Global cases of COVID-19 head toward 177 million and CDC says Delta strain is 'variant of concern'

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By Ciara Linnane

The global tally for the coronavirus-borne illness headed toward 177 million on Wednesday, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University , while deaths climbed above 3.8 million. The U.S. continues to lead the world in total cases at 33.48 million, while deaths total 600,285. The number of fully vaccinated Americans rose to 145.8 million, or 43.9% of the total population, according to the latest data from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) , with the number of U.S. adults receiving at least one dose increasing to 64.6%. New York is the latest state to lift almost all restrictions, after reaching a single-dose vaccination rate of more than 70%. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it has now classified the Delta variant, a highly infectious variant that was first detected in India, as a variant of concern, that could be resistant to certain antibody treatments. The rapid spreading of that variant in the U.K. prompted Prime Minister Boris Johnson to delay that country's reopening for another four weeks earlier this week. On a global basis, India is second in total cases at 29.6 million and third by fatalities at 379,573, although those numbers are expected to be undercounted given a shortage of tests. Brazil has the third-highest caseload at 17.5 million, according to JHU data, and is second in deaths at 490,696. Mexico has fourth-highest death toll at 230,428 and 2.5 million cases. The U.K. has 128,181 fatalities and 4.6 million cases, the highest number of deaths in Europe and fifth-highest in the world.

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