World UK to face ‘substantial third wave’ of coronavirus as Delta variant spreads, expert says
The Delta strain isn't the only COVID-19 variant you're likely to hear about. Here's a list
The World Health Organization has renamed the different strains of COVID-19 to take on the first four letters of the Greek alphabet.Under the changes, the four most concerning variants take on the first four letters of the Greek alphabet — Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta.
A top expert with the U.K.’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) on Sunday warned the region is approaching a third wave ofinfections as a highly transmissible variant first detected in India continues to proliferate.
"I think it’s now very clear that we will have a substantial third wave of infections," Prof Andrew Hayward of University College London said, appearing on BBC One's "." "The really big question is how much that wave of infections is going to translate into hospitalizations. The fact that we’ve got 55% of the adult population double vaccinated means that this will be substantially less bad than it could’ve been but we still don’t know exactly how bad it could be."
How the coronavirus Delta variant rampaged through India before spreading across the globe
As Delta rampaged through India undetected, doctors were confounded by the sheer scale of the virus's spread. This is how the COVID-19 variant fuelled a calamitous surge in cases before slipping beyond the country's borders.Daily confirmed infections were in the low hundreds and serological surveys, which detect COVID-19 antibodies in the blood, suggested more than half the city's population had been infected after overcoming three surges.
Government data indicates over 41 million people in the U.K. have received at least one dose, while nearly 30 million are fully vaccinated. A study from Public Health England suggested the Pfizer vaccine was 88% effective against the variant two weeks post-second dose, and 33% effective after the initial dose. A recentfrom PHE found that the Delta variant, B.1.617.2, was behind over 90% of sequenced cases.
The variant is associated with an increased hospitalization risk and recent findings suggested the variant is 60% more transmissible.
"I think 60% more infectious is extremely worrying, that’s the main thing that will drive the speed with which the next wave comes along," Hayward said. "The fact that the level of hospitalizations from this infection appear to be maybe up to double those from the previous infection is of course also extremely concerning even in the context of people having had a single dose of vaccine."
The news comes as Prime Minister Boris JohnsonCOVID-19-related restrictions on Monday by several weeks amid a concerning rise in infections driven by the Delta variant, Reuters reported. The Delta variant is the dominant strain in the U.K.; it has overtaken the highly transmissible B.1.1.7 Alpha variant.
Biden Says It's 'Unlikely' Delta Variant Will Cause U.S. Lockdown but Won't Rule It Out .
"The existing vaccines are very effective so no, it's not a lockdown, but some areas will be very hurt," the president said."I don't think so, because so many people have already been vaccinated," Biden said at a press conference when asked if the variant could prompt a new shutdown nationally. "But the Delta variant can cause more people to die in areas where people have not been vaccinated. Where people have gotten the two shots, the Delta variant is highly unlikely to result in anything.