Keeping the growing concerns of COVID-19 in mind, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO chief, has claimed that the Delta variant is the prime reason behind the new wave of COVID-19 cases as well as the deaths. Most importantly, the WHO chief has said that the variant is expected to be the dominant strain across the globe.
Noteworthy here is that it’s the Delta variant that caused a huge number of deaths due to COVID-19, specifically in India. Presently, the Delta variant has already spread across more than 104 nations. According to the WHO chief, the Delta variant is expanding across the globe at a significant speed, causing a higher number of deaths. The WHO chief has also urged the global community to put the united effort in order to handle the virus that keeps transforming and turning increasingly transmissible. He further has underlined how the disease has significantly damaged the economy and has affected the global health system.
At the same time prioritizing the significance of vaccination, Ghebreyesus has also criticized those nations that are ordering bulk booster doses for vaccinating their masses, especially when there are several nations still waiting for vaccines or confronting shortages.
Rather than Moderna and even Pfizer is emphasizing vaccine supply in booster form to nations with significantly high coverage. Also, the WHO chief has emphasized channeling the supply to poor and middle-income countries, and Africa Vaccine Acquisition Task Team, or simply those having lower vaccine coverage.
A peek into the variants of Delta and Delta Plus:
WHO has suggested about use of Greek alphabet letters, like Alpha (B.1.1.7), Beta (B.1.351), Gamma (P.1), Delta (B.1.617), etc., for denotation of variants. Noteworthy here is that the Delta variant is known as SARS-CoV-2 B.1.617, and there are 15-17 mutations of it. As per the mutation, the variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus are named as Delta or as Delta Plus.
As per the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the scientists in India first figured out the variant and made the world aware of the same. The initial case of the variant was reported in October 2020 in India. Basically, there are three subtypes of the Delta variant ( B.1.617), that are: B1.617.1, B.1.617.2, and B.1.617.3. Among these, B.1.617.1 and B.1.617.3 have been found as the Variant of Interest. Similarly, the B.1.617.2 or the Delta Plus is classified as the Variant of Concern considering that it has more transmissibility and powerful binding with the lung cell receptors, according to the health ministry.