Delta variant for 90% of new COVID19 cases in Europe in upcoming month: EU agency

Delta variant for 90% of new COVID19 cases in Europe in upcoming month: EU agency

The Delta variant, identified for the primary time in India, could account for 90 percent of latest Covid cases within the European Union within the coming months, the bloc's disease control agency said Wednesday.

"It is extremely likely that the Delta variant will circulate extensively during the summer, particularly among younger individuals that aren't targeted for vaccination," Andrea Ammon, director of the ecu Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), said during a statement.

"The Delta variant is more transmissible than other circulating variants and that we estimate that by the top of August it'll represent 90 percent" of latest cases within the EU, she added.

The ECDC estimates that the Delta variant (B.1.617.2), is 40 to 60 percent more contagious than the Alpha variant (B.1.1.7), first discovered within the UK, which is currently the predominant variant of the novel coronavirus circulating within the EU.

The agency said that "70 percent of latest SARS-CoV-2 infections are projected to flow from to the present variant within the EU/EEA by early August and 90 percent of infections by the top of August".

To counter the spread of the variant and mitigate the health impact, the ECDC said "it is extremely important to progress with the vaccine roll-out at a really high pace".

To date, about 30 percent of the over-80s and a few 40 percent of the over-60s within the EU are still not fully vaccinated, consistent with the ECDC.

"At this stage it becomes crucial that the second vaccination dose is run within the minimum authorised interval from the primary dose, to hurry up the speed at which vulnerable individuals become protected," Ammon said.

The ECDC is additionally urging countries to take care about relaxing curbs aimed toward limiting the spread.

"Any relaxation over the summer months of the stringency of non-pharmaceutical measures that were in situ within the EU/EEA in early June could lead on to a quick and significant increase in daily cases altogether age groups," the agency said.

This increase could successively cause an increase in "hospitalisations, and deaths, potentially reaching an equivalent levels of the autumn of 2020 if no additional measure are taken," it added.

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