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 The UK's coronavirus has been diagnosed in at least 60 countries, the World Health Organization said Wednesday, 10 more than last week.

With the death toll in the world exceeding two million, and new strains of the virus causing serious concern, countries around the world are scrambling to reduce the number of infections until vaccines become more widely available.

The South African version, such as the UK is believed to be highly contagious, has now been reported in 23 countries and territories, the WHO also announced in its weekly report.

It added that the death toll had risen to 93,000 high records in the past seven days, with 4.7 million new cases reported in the same period.

The UK strain, first discovered in mid-December, is estimated by the WHO to be 50 and 70 percent more contagious than the real one.

Although more contagious, the two strains are not considered to be the most lethal, and Pfizer and his German counterpart BioNTech said their drugs were effective in counteracting the mutation in the British virus, known as B117.

The advent of mass vaccination campaigns in the US and Europe brought hope that the end of the epidemic was near; The European Union said Tuesday it aims to vaccinate 70 percent of adults before the end of August.

But many EU countries - and other nations including India and Russia - have been able to get their vaccinations down.

The United States is living in the midst of a major global upheaval, with US President-elect Joe Biden making it clear he will not run for office following his inauguration on Wednesday.

In recent days there has been a renewed focus on the first outbreak last year, with China defending its control of the virus on Tuesday after independent experts criticized the speed of its response.