Delta variant ‘greatest threat’ to the nation’s efforts to eliminate Covid
Berkeley Lovelace Jr
Health officials say there are reports that the delta variant also causes more severe symptoms, but that more research is needed to confirm those conclusions. Still, there are signs that the delta strain could provoke different symptoms than other variants.
Fauci said Tuesday the U.S. has “the tools” to defeat the variant, urging more Americans to get fully vaccinated against Covid and “crush the outbreak”
The Biden administration said earlier Tuesday that it likely won’t hit President Joe Biden’s goal of getting 70% of American adults to receive one vaccine shot or more by the Fourth of July.
A number of governments have warned about the rapidly spreading Delta variant of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19). Because of its spread, authorities have warned that the biggest wave of the pandemic is yet to come. These same authorities are implementing measures that curtail people’s freedoms – such as lockdowns and mask mandates – under the guise of keeping the Delta variant at bay.
A report by the Times of India (TOI) said the Delta variant even mutated further in some instances, becoming the Delta plus or AY1 strain. This strain possessed the K417N mutation at the virus’s spike protein, which enables it to enter and infect human cells. The TOI report added that the AY1 variant showed resistance to monoclonal antibody treatments for COVID-19.
Author Michael Snyder wrote in his blog that the Delta variant is “wreaking havoc” in different countries worldwide. It caused new COVID-19 cases in the U.K. to rise by 109 percent in a week’s time. Of these new cases, the Delta variant accounted for 91 percent. Because of this, the British government has considered extending lockdown restrictions by another month, the Daily Mail reported.
The same report added that a study by Public Health England (PHE) found that 29 percent of the 42 fatalities caused by the new strain were fully vaccinated against the disease. The PHE study only reignited fears of another outbreak, as cases and deaths there were on a downtrend. Many Britons also called for lifting the unnecessary lockdowns.
Chile is another country that has locked itself down over fears of another circulating COVID-19 variant, namely the Brazilian P1 strain. Health authorities in the South American nation announced a blanket lockdown across its capital city of Santiago on June 10. The lockdown followed Chile’s daily nationwide caseload surging 17 percent in the past two weeks. Concurrently, the daily caseload for the Santiago Metropolitan region also spiked by 25 percent in the same period.
The lockdown starkly contrasted with Chile’s mass vaccination drive to protect its population against the Wuhan coronavirus. It boasted of having one of the highest vaccination rates worldwide, alongside countries such as the U.S. and Israel. According to Reuters data, around three-fourths of Chile’s 15 million population have already received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose. Meanwhile, almost 58 percent of Chileans are completely vaccinated against the disease.