SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant: A variant of concern
Delta variant (Lineage B.1.617.2) is highly contagious SARS-CoV-2 virus strain which was first identified in India. It can cause people, even vaccinated individuals to develop serious COVID-19 illness than other variants of the virus.
Why is Delta variant contagious?
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is more transmissible than the common cold and influenza, as well as the viruses that cause smallpox, MERS, SARS, and Ebola.
With this virus, the chance of infecting others, such as within your household or other contacts is very high!
One person infected with Delta may infect 5 or 6 other people.
Some people may have no symptoms (asymptomatic) when infectious & can transmit the virus to others without knowing it.
People with a Delta infection are at higher risk of needing hospitalization.
Warning signs that third wave might hit India
# Shortages of vaccines in many parts of India
Despite everything happening in proper coordination with the government, India is facing shortage of vaccines. Recently, vaccination drives were suspended in Mumbai due to vaccine shortage. There was a decline in vaccination by 60% in Telangana and 500 vaccination centers were shut in Delhi. Many other states have continuously been facing the same situation.
# Negligence when it comes to masks
As India eases lockdown restrictions, it seems like the public has forgotten about the hazards of coronavirus. There are still people out there who are getting back to basics as if nothing happened by avoiding the importance of masks. Public events are almost back in full swing. Public’s negligence and carelessness are another reason to expect a third wave.
# Increase in cases at district level
According to How India lives data, cases tremendously jumped in 63 districts, mostly in Kerala, neighboring areas and northeast India. India has recorded a surge of 7% cases in the last week which is concerning.
How we can protect ourselves?
· Physical distancing of 2-meter wherever possible
· Wear face coverings on public transport and in busy places such as supermarkets
· Keep indoor rooms well ventilated (e.g. By opening windows and doors)
· If you feel unwell, stay at home
· Get vaccinated to save yourself and ones around you