WHO warns of risks in relaxing measures before Delta variant of covid

Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Photo: Archive

The World Health Organization (WHO) warned this week about the risks of the spread of the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2, formerly known as the India variant. It represents an imminent danger for any country that relaxes health security measures, assure representatives of the agency.

"Lifting the restrictions would be disastrous for those countries that are not yet fully vaccinated and a large number do not have the resources to immunize their citizens," said WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

The Delta variant of Covid-19 is present in more than 67 nations around the world. Most of the registered cases are in the United Kingdom with 21.552, followed by India with 5.749, the United States with 2.097 and Germany with 633.

For her part, Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove assured that this variant is much more contagious than the Alpha, previously known as the British variant, which is why it can generate a crisis greater than the existing one.

The mutation is responsible for more than 90 per cent of cases in Singapore and has already become dominant in the UK, with the potential to spread at a rate difficult to control.

The British health authorities have also warned that the effectiveness of the vaccines is lower against the Delta variant compared to the Alpha, although it increases significantly after the second doses.

In India, the main symptoms presented by patients are hearing impairment, stomachaches, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, joint pain, severe gastric disorders, and blood clots that can lead to gangrene.

New denomination

Since last June 1, the WHO agreed to rename the vaccine variants so that they are not identified with a specific country. For this reason, he agreed to use the letters of the Greek alphabet for this denomination.

So the UK variant, for example, is labeled Alpha, South Africa's Beta, and India Delta.

The Brazilian variant was named as the Gamma variant.

The Delta variant is already in South America

The Government of Peru confirmed this Wednesday its first case of the Indian variant of the coronavirus, detected in the southern city of Arequipa, the only one where infections are increasing again, unlike in the rest of the country.

The delta variant, as this mutation of the coronavirus that emerged in India is known internationally, was detected for the first time in Peru in a 78-year-old woman, according to the Minister of Health, Óscar Ugarte, in the press conference after the weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers.

This is a non-imported case, as the patient has not traveled abroad and only refers to having been in contact with a family member suspected of covid-19.

“So far only one case has been detected. We cannot affirm that this increase in cases in Arequipa is due all to this variant. So far we cannot say that, ”said Ugarte.

Thus, in the Peruvian territory there is evidence of the presence of four different variants of the coronavirus, since in addition to the Indian there is the British variant, the Brazilian variant and the C.37, also called Andean, which is the majority, causing in principle the 80% of covid-19 infections in Peru.

 

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