In its COVID-19 Weekly Epidemiological Update, the WHO said as of June 29, 2021, "96 countries have reported cases of the Delta variant, though this is likely an underestimate as sequencing capacities needed to identify variants are limited. A number of these countries are attributing surges in infections and hospitalisations to this variant."
Economies of the Philippines, Peru, Colombia, South Africa and Thailand are among the most vulnerable to the COVID-19 Delta variant within emerging markets, mostly due to low vaccination rates, a JPMorgan analysis found on Thursday.
The analysis looks at spread of the virus' Delta variant versus the pace of vaccination, which in some countries is not accelerating enough to offset higher rates of transmission.
Even if the Delta variant is shown to result in lower hospitalization and death rates, the report said, pressure on healthcare systems and a higher absolute number of deaths could occur, likely raising pressure on some governments to extend or re-impose mobility restrictions.
A separate note from Oxford Economics showed strong economic activity rebounds in Latin America on the back of gains in mobility.
(Graphic: Journey to the new normal, https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/mkt/ygdvzzandvw/2021-07-08_12h39_39.png)
The JPMorgan analysis said vaccination thresholds for getting mobility back to normal vary by country, so the results are best taken as relative performance from country to country.
"The model estimates suggest that the Philippines, Peru, South Africa, Thailand, and Colombia face the longest journeys back to pre-pandemic levels of mobility, while Singapore, Turkey, India and Brazil have the shortest journeys."
In Latin America, authorities have been less likely to re-impose or lengthen mobility restrictions, the report said.
"While the region has shown surprising resilience in the face of the virus and other headwinds, downside risks to growth could still manifest through the impact of worsening public health on confidence even if the uptrend in mobility remains in place."