The Delta variant of Covid-19, or the B1.617.2 highly transmissible variant of concern (VOC) first identified in India, has now become the dominant VOC in the United Kingdom and may also come with an increased risk of hospitalisation, health officials in Britain have said.
There are now 12,431 confirmed cases of the Indian variant, also known as Delta, in the United Kingdom, up from 6,959 last week.
- Has the Indian variant spread throughout the country?
Health officials in Britain have said that Delta may also come with an increased risk of hospitalisation compared to the Alpha VoC which was first detected in Kent, England.
The Delta variant was first detected in Ontario in late April, weeks after it was blamed for a massive surge in cases and hospitalizations in India.
The latest statistics have led experts to conclude that Delta is now closing in to overtake Alpha. While the Delta variant is present in all the states, scientists have said there is yet no evidence of its role in severity of infections and increased deaths, according to NDTV.
Almost 70 per cent of Ontario adults have now received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine and the province has said that it hopes to have fully vaccinated everyone who wants to be by the end of the summer. But Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Odisha and Telangana were the most affected by this variant.
Meanwhile, a paper by the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology showed that Delhi's surge in Covid-19 cases in April was linked to the Delta variant overtaking the Alpha variant, the Hindustan Times reported.
A woman waits at a bus stop by a sign warning members of the public about a "coronavirus variant of concern" in Hounslow, west London.
Sutton said that it was a concern that it is not linked to other cases but the authorities are chasing primary cases to look where it might have been acquired.
Yahoo News UK has contacted Downing Street for a comment on the Nepal variant claims.
While likely infectious, the two visited several tourist locations.
The second, which turned up in South Africa and has been referred to as B.1.351, is now known as the "beta" variant. The B.1.617.1 sub-lineage was detected in 8,900 samples, while over 10,000 of these samples tested for the Delta variant. The B.1.617.2 is now called "Delta".
Vaccine effectiveness refers to how well a vaccine works in the real world, as opposed to the term efficacy, which relates to vaccines' performance in trials.
While much is still unknown about the strain, recent studies conducted in England have suggested that it is more transmissible than the B.1.1.7 variant that is now dominant in Ontario and can cause more severe symptoms in younger adults.
Dr. Peter Juni, the scientific director of the Ontario government's Science Advisory Table, told CTV News Channel earlier this week that the Delta variant is "probably about 50 per cent more transmissible than" B.1.1.7, which was the variant that drove Ontario's third wave.
Current vaccines have been designed for earlier versions of coronavirus, but scientists believe they should still work, although they may be less effective.
"Once again, the majority of these had not been vaccinated", PHE said, in reference to its previous studies which showed that two doses of the Covid-19 vaccines are "highly effective" against the Delta VOC.