Covid19 – Delta variant spreads to 98 countries

Covid19 - Delta variant spreads to 98 countries

Covid19 – Delta variant spreads to 98 countries

The delta variant of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), which was first detected in India last year, has now spread to at least 98 countries across and is the most contagious variant of the virus to be identified till now. The World Health Organization (WHO) director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned on  Saturday that the world is currently in a very dangerous period of the pandemic and the delta variant is continuing to evolve and mutate.

In Europe, Portugal, Russia and the United Kingdom are witnessing a massive spike in daily cases due to the delta variant. The entire continent at present, is struggling to accelerate the vaccination drive and outpace the spread of the variant.

Meanwhile, the WHO chief explained that there are ‘essentially’ two ways for countries to push back against the new COVID-19 surges. “Public health and social measures like strong surveillance, strategic testing, early case detection, isolation and clinical care remain critical. As well as masking, physical distance, avoiding crowded places and keeping indoor areas well ventilated”, he said.

The second way, said Tedros, was through the global sharing of protective gear, oxygen, tests, treatments and vaccines. “I have urged leaders across the world to work together to ensure that by this time next year, 70% of all people in every country are vaccinated”, Tedros highlighted, adding that this was the best way to slow the pandemic, save lives, drive a truly global economic recovery and prevent further dangerous variants from getting the ‘upper hand’.

“By the end of this September, we’re calling on leaders to vaccinate at least 10 per cent of people in all countries,” he added. This is to protect health workers who are at most risk. So far, already three billion vaccines have been distributed. The WHO Chief further called for ramping up vaccine manufacturing by sharing vaccines as well as the technology and the know-how.

Last week, the IMF, the World Bank and the World Trade Organization joined the WHO in calling for “urgent action” to increase vaccine supplies. They also asked the G20 group of nations to accelerate efforts to reach vaccination targets. Scientists have emphasised the urgency of vaccinating the world, because the current vaccines are already less effective against the Delta variant than other variants, and Delta is substantially more transmissible.