From US to UK: Countries that are urging vigilance over Delta variant

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The emergence of the Delta variant, first detected in India, is being cited as the primary reason for a surge in Covid-19 cases in countries around the world. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the highly transmissible variant is quickly becoming the globally dominant variant of the deadly infection.

“The Delta variant is well on its way to becoming the dominant variant globally because of its increased transmissibility,” the WHO’s Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan said during a news conference recently. Just last month, the WHO had labelled the Delta variant as a “variant of concern”.

While the Delta variant fuelled the ferocious second wave of Covid infections in India, cases in the country have been on a downward trajectory since mid-May.

Meanwhile, countries such as the UK, which had begun easing restrictions as a large chunk of its population had received at least one dose of a vaccine, are now witnessing a rise in infections. The UK is not alone. Several countries, including Russia and Indonesia, are now reporting a surge in coronavirus cases due to the Delta variant. Even the United States is warning citizens to get vaccinated quickly before Delta becomes the dominant variant in the country.  

The United Kingdom

In the last week, the UK has witnessed a slight surge in cases, with an estimated 119,000 people testing positive for coronavirus, as opposed to 110,000 the week before. According to Public Health England, the Delta variant accounts for nearly all these cases, BBC reported.

In the UK, the Delta variant has become the dominant strain, surpassing ‘alpha’, which was first detected in the country last year. In view of the recent surge in cases, UK authorities have postponed the planned relaxation of pandemic restrictions.

The increase in cases comes despite the fact that Britain has managed to vaccinate at least 60 per cent of its citizens with at least one dose of the vaccine.

The United States

US President Joe Biden has urged all unvaccinated Americans to get inoculated against the novel coronavirus, warning that the Delta variant could lead to more deaths. “The new variants will leave unvaccinated people even more vulnerable than they are or were a month ago. This is a serious concern. Especially because of what experts are calling the Delta variant. It`s a variant that is more easily transmissible, potentially deadlier and particularly dangerous for young people,” Biden said during a White House press conference recently.

With the US’ impressive vaccination drive in full swing, the country has witnessed a significant decline in daily cases and deaths in recent months. But experts fear that the new variant could lead to a fresh surge in cases.

According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention director Rochelle Walensky, the Delta variant could soon become the dominant coronavirus strain in the US. But she stressed that the coronavirus vaccine would protect citizens against the new variant.

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