Delta variant, or B.1.617.2 is currently the most dominant strain in the UK
and has spread to 92 countries. In the US, it is accounting to more than a third of all the cases each day. It the ‘greatest threat’ to eradicate COVID-19 in the US according to Dr.Anthony Fauci, chief medical advisor to the White House. It was flagged as a ‘variant of concern’ only in May 2021 in spite of being discovered in October 2020. Parameters used by WHO to label it as a ‘variant of concern’ are increasing transmissibility, more virulence, and decreased effectiveness of public health measures.The labeling was delayed because of the time taken to collect data from the genome sequencing done during India’s second wave of COVID-19. Mutations in the Delta variant make it replicate faster and evade the body’s immunity mechanism. According to WHO, it is the ‘fastest and fittest’ variant yet.The Delta variant is 50-60% more transmissible than the Alpha variant which was 50-60% more transmissable than the original strain of COVID-19. This is why entire communities were infected together during India’s second
wave. Apart from the vaccination rate in India, the slow study of new variants is also a matter of concern.