Delta variant is dangerous and is still evolving and mutating: WHO Chief

United Nations/Geneva: The world is in a “dangerous period” due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which is being exacerbated by more transmissible variants like Delta, which is continuing to evolve and mutate, according to World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

He claims that in countries with low vaccination coverage, horrifying scenes of hospitals overflowing are once again becoming the norm.

“We are in a very dangerous period of this pandemic, compounded by more transmissible variants, like Delta, which is quickly becoming the dominant strain in many countries,” Ghebreyesus said at a press conference on Friday.

“However, no country has emerged unscathed. The Delta variant is dangerous and is evolving and mutating, necessitating constant evaluation and careful adjustment of the public health response “He stated.

Noting that the Delta variant has been detected in at least 98 countries and is rapidly spreading in countries with low and high vaccination coverage, he stated that there are essentially two ways for countries to combat new outbreaks.

“Public health and social measures such as strong surveillance, strategic testing, early case detection, isolation, and clinical care remain critical,” he said, adding that masking, physical distance, avoiding crowded places, and keeping indoor areas well ventilated form the foundation of the response.

Ghebreyesus emphasised that the world must share protective gear, oxygen, tests, treatments, and vaccines equitably, and that he has urged leaders around the world to work together to ensure that by this time next year, 70% of all people in every country have been vaccinated.

“This is the most effective way to slow the pandemic, save lives, drive a truly global economic recovery, and prevent further dangerous variants from gaining an advantage. We are urging leaders to vaccinate at least 10% of the population in all countries by the end of September “He stated.

The Delta variant, discovered in India, has now been reported in nearly 100 countries, which is “likely an underestimate,” according to WHO, and the highly transmissible strain is expected to rapidly outcompete other variants and become dominant globally in the coming months.

According to the WHO COVID-19 Weekly Epidemiological Update published on June 29, 2021, “96 countries have reported cases of the Delta variant, though this is likely an underestimate due to sequencing capacities required to identify variants being limited.” This variant is being blamed for an increase in infections and hospitalizations in a number of these countries.”

Because of the increased transmissibility, the Delta variant is “expected to rapidly outcompete other variants and become the dominant variant over the coming months,” according to the study.

WHO noted that the tools available today to combat the coronavirus—including individual, community-level-public health and social measures, infection prevention and control measures, and infection prevention and control measures used since the beginning of the pandemic—remain effective against current variants of concern, including the Delta variant.

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