Europe : WHO & ECDC warn – Delta variant is now dominant

Europe : WHO & ECDC warn - Delta variant is now dominant

Europe : WHO & ECDC warn – Delta variant now is dominant

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and World Health Organisation’s (WHO) regional office for Europe warned on Monday that the Delta variant of Covid-19 is now dominant in the region. The two bodies also recommended measures like faster rollout of Covid-19 vaccination to all eligible groups, implementation of public health measures and increased access to testing.

Warning against the rising number of infections across Europe since the past four weeks, the ECDC said a five-fold increase in the infections was observed among the people in the age group of 15 to 24 over the past month. It also urged the priority groups including older people and those with chronic diseases, as well as healthcare workers to receive their full dose of the Covid-19 vaccine to protect themselves from severe illness.

The head of the European Central Bank, Christine Lagarde, warned of the specific risks caused by Delta as the bank voted to keep its vast Covid stimulus programme in place last week. “The reopening of large parts of the economy is supporting a vigorous bounce-back in the services sector. But the Delta variant of the coronavirus could dampen this recovery in services especially, in tourism and hospitality,” she said.

First detected in India in October of 2020, Delta (B.1.617.2) was identified as one of the major factors driving the second wave of Covid-19 infections that devastated the country earlier this year. Quoting microbiologist Sharon Peacock, news agency Reuters reported, “The biggest risk to the world at the moment is simply Delta.”

The Delta variant will be the globally dominant strain over the coming months and has already been identified in almost all European countries. It will continue to spread, displacing circulation of other variants unless a new more competitive virus emerges.