Delta variant of COVID-19
Multiple SARS-CoV-2 variants are circulating globally. Delta variant of COVID-19 named as B.1-617 has been detected in India earlier.
In England, 61% of samples in a sequence are now of delta variant. This means the Delta variant of COVID-19, is more dominant in the UK.
What is the Delta variant of COViD-19?
It is one of the multiple SARS-CoV-2 variants. Early evidence suggests that it’s sub-lineage B.1.617.2.It is known as the Delta variant and is more transmissible than contemporary lineages.
Why the Delta variant is classified as VOC?
Different variants are characterized by mutations – or alterations in the virus’s genetic material. An RNA virus, such as SARS-CoV-2, is made of about 30,000 bases of amino acids. There are placed like bricks next to each other.
An alteration in any of these base causes a mutation. It effectively changes the shape and behavior of the virus. The Delta variant contains multiple mutations in the spike protein.
WHO classifies it as a variant of concern (VOC) due to –
1• its transmissibility or detrimental change in COVID-19 epidemiology
2• increase in virulence
3• decrease in the effectiveness of public health measures
What is the efficacy of the vaccine towards the Delta variant?
According to a recent study done by Public t Health England (PHE), as compared to the Alpha variant, first found in the UK, the Delta variant reduces covid vaccine efficacy. This means there is a larger risk of infections and re-infections.
A study conducted in India by AllMS and the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) found shocking results. n addition to this the study told that the Delta variant can infect people even if they are fully vaccinated with Covishield and Covaxin doses.
Along with it, the study also finds that the Delta variant is more vaccine-resistant than the Alpha variant.
Uncertain future on the way!
We are currently in the unlock phase after the disastrous second covid wave. Media reports suggest that covid appropriate norms are being openly violated all over the country.
Delta variant becomes even more problematic along with the low level of vaccination in the country.
This means a population base of 131 crore people, who are unvaccinated, stare at an uncertain future with the threat of Covid’s third wave, driven by a more infectious Delta variant.