Delta the ‘most transmissible variants’: WHO Chief

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General WHO. 
(Excerpts from PTI)

The Delta variant of Covid-19, identified in at least 85 countries, is the “most transmissible” of the variants and is spreading swiftly among unvaccinated populations, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Chief of WHO has cautioned in Geneva.

With the lifting of lockdowns, inadequate covid appropriate behaviours, ease in public health and social measures, Delta variants transmission around the world has increased rapidly.
“More cases mean more hospitalisations, further stretching health workers and health systems, which increases the risk of death,” WHO Chief opined.

In a strong warning, Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, COVID-19 Technical Lead at the WHO said the Delta variant is a “dangerous” virus and is more transmissible than the Alpha variant, which was itself extremely transmissible across Europe and any country that it entered.

“The Delta variant is even more transmissible,” she said, adding that the WHO is seeing trajectories of incidents that are almost “vertical” in a number of countries around the world.
“Delta variant is spreading readily among people who are unvaccinated,” Kerkhove said.
She urged citizens to have their second dose or the full course of dose of the COVID-19 vaccines.

Kerkhove underlined that COVID-19 vaccines are “incredibly effective” at preventing severe disease and death, including against the Delta variant. Kerkhove warned that events that are large scale events like Marriage, parties, functions, rallies, etc attract huge crowds “will have worst consequences”

The WHO chief said it’s “quite simple” that more transmission means more variants and less transmission means fewer variants.
The COVID-19 Weekly Epidemiological Update released on June 22 by WHO said that globally, the variant Alpha has been reported in 170 countries, territories or areas, Beta in 119 countries, Gamma in 71 countries and Delta in 85 countries.
“Delta, now reported in 85 countries globally, continues to be reported in new countries across all WHO Regions, 11 of which were newly reported in the past two weeks,” the update said.

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