The new COVID-19 variant Delta that was first identified in India is spreading to 74 other countries, including China, the United States, and the United Kingdom (in the latter, it accounts for over 90% of new cases).
According to MarketWatch, this raises concerns that Delta will become the dominant strain worldwide.
For instance, according to former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, the number of cases caused by this virus in the United States is doubling every two weeks, and now they account for at least 10% of new cases.
"That doesn’t mean that we’re going to see a sharp uptick in infections, but it does mean that this is going to take over... And I think there is a risk that this could spike a new epidemic heading into the fall."
At the same time, The Guardian writes that Delta is transmitted 60% faster than the previous dominant strain. According to scientists, the new variant is characterized by symptoms such as headache, sore throat, and runny nose.
Coronavirus Delta in Ukraine
According to Ukrainian scientists, the strain may begin to spread in Ukraine from the eastern regions, and a new outbreak of the disease will begin earlier than autumn (with insufficient control of international migration and slow vaccination rates). As stated on the website of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, if the new wave is linked specifically with the Indian strain, it may be more dangerous than the previous ones, especially in the burden on hospitals.
"In our opinion, it is necessary to consider the feasibility of imposing additional controls and restrictions on migration between Ukraine and countries where the share of the Delta variant is rapidly increasing, in order to delay the spread of this strain in Ukraine. Given the increased migration from the Russian Federation, it can be expected that a new wave of the COVID-19 spread may start from the east of Ukraine," the statement says.
Scientists argue that this strain is more dangerous than the previous ones. For instance, it is 1.6 times more contagious than Alpha (British strain), 2.2 times more often leads to hospitalization and 1.4 times more often—to resuscitation. According to them, the strain has now spread in Russia, where it accounts for up to a quarter of new cases. And in Moscow and St. Petersburg the incidence is growing sharply. In addition to Russia, scientists are also concerned about the situation in Great Britain and Portugal, where the Delta strain is also spreading. In Britain, for example, a sharp increase in the incidence is taking place, despite the fact that 60% of the population is vaccinated there.