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Global reopening in summer may not come to true due to Deltra variant spreading
Global reopening in summer may not come to true due to Deltra variant spreading. The Delta variant strain has spread to 74 countries. Will the global restart this summer be a futile?
As of June 15, the “Delta strain” of the COVID-19 variant first discovered in India has spread to 74 countries around the world.
Experts worry that this is considered to be the “most contagious mutant strain to date” will become the dominant strain in the world, and will induce a new round of epidemics, extinguishing the hope of a global restart in the summer.
Delta variant may cause the unblocking of the UK to fail
On June 14, British Prime Minister Johnson announced that due to the recent rebound of the epidemic, the date of unblocking in England will be postponed from June 21 to July 19 as originally planned.
The culprit responsible for this rebound of the epidemic is the Delta strain. The Public Health Agency of England announced in early June that the Delta strain has surpassed the Alpha strain — the B.1.1.7 strain first discovered in the UK — as the main COVID-19 mutant strain circulating in the UK. Genetic analysis shows that it currently accounts for about 96% of all analyzed samples.
In recent days, the number of basic infections of the new coronavirus and the growth rate of new cases in a single day in the UK have continued to rise, indicating that the epidemic is spreading at an exponential rate. On June 14, the United Kingdom reported 7,606 new confirmed cases in a single day, the highest single-day record since the end of February this year.
The modeling results released by the scientific advisory team pointed out that if the relaxation measures in the original plan are implemented, another wave of infections and hospitalizations will occur in the summer. This wave of infections may cause the peak hospital occupancy rate to exceed the level of 20,000 people reached last spring, although the death toll may be much lower; a four-week delay may reduce the number of admissions by one-third to half.
The British government said it will evaluate these measures in two weeks. The government believes that the blockade measures will not be extended beyond July 19. Because by then, all people over the age of 40 will receive a second dose of the vaccine.
The Wall Street Journal believes that Britain’s decision to postpone unblocking for four weeks provides a warning lesson for the United States and other countries that the virus variants that are spreading around the world may detonate a new round of epidemics.
In the United States, the delta strain accounts for approximately 10% of all samples sent to institutions for analysis. According to Scott Gottlieb, the former Director of the Food and Drug Administration, cases of the Delta strain double approximately every two weeks.
Although this data is still at a low level, it still raises concerns.
According to a study published in The Lancet by Scottish researchers, the risk of hospitalization for the Delta strain is about 85% higher than that of the Alpha strain. Scientists are not yet sure why the delta strain may be more virulent. With the high hospitalization rate and strong contagion, various epidemic data in the United States have recently shown an upward trend. Experts believe that this may lead to a new round of outbreaks in the United States in the fall.
Statistics from Johns Hopkins University show that in Alabama, Arkansas, Hawaii, Missouri, Nevada, Texas, Utah and Wyoming, the average daily infection rate in 7 days compared to 2 weeks ago Both have seen rapid growth. Experts call on the American people to lay down their guard and vaccinate widely.
In China, a new round of outbreaks in Guangzhou is also related to the Delta strain. At a press conference on the Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism of the State Council held on June 11, Feng Zijian, a researcher at the China Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said that research data showed that the delta strain has a higher transmission capacity. For example, it is more powerful than the alpha strain first discovered in the UK. The transmission capacity has increased by more than 40%.
The vaccine is less effective, but it can still prevent the development of severe illness
Whether the vaccine is still effective against the Delta strain has become an issue of concern to all parties.
According to data from the British Ministry of Health, the delta strain will significantly reduce the level of neutralizing antibodies in existing vaccines, but these vaccines can still provide adequate protection for the vaccinated population.
In other words, although the protective effect of the vaccine on human infection with the Delta strain has been weakened, it still has a greater protective effect on serious diseases, especially after two doses. Two doses of Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines are very effective in preventing people infected with the Delta strain from developing severe illness.
The British Ministry of Health analyzed more than 14,000 delta cases, of which 166 were hospitalized between April 12 and June 4. Data show that the effective rate of two doses of Pfizer vaccine to prevent hospitalization is 96%, and the effective rate of two doses of AstraZeneca vaccine is 92%. These results are comparable to the protection provided by preventing infection with the alpha strain.
In the UK, almost 80% of adults have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and 57% have been fully vaccinated. In the United States, these two proportions are 64% and 54%, respectively.
Currently, the delta strain is mainly spread among young, unvaccinated groups in the UK. Of the 33,000 delta cases recorded in England, 58% were unvaccinated people, and most were young people. Two-thirds of people admitted to the hospital have not been vaccinated. Among those admitted to the hospital who have been vaccinated, most have not received two doses of the vaccine. Data shows that infections have also been found in elderly people who have already received one or even two doses of the vaccine.
Experts recommend that the British government postpone the vaccination of young people to ensure that the elderly can receive the double dose required for maximum protection. They also hope to have extra time to evaluate the vaccine’s effectiveness in preventing sudden infections leading to hospitalizations and excess deaths.
The virus undergoes tiny genetic changes during the reproduction process. Most mutations are irrelevant, but some mutations make the virus more contagious.
The World Health Organization has listed four “variants of global concern”: the alpha strain was first discovered in the UK, the beta strain was first discovered in South Africa, the gamma strain was first discovered in Brazil, and the first discovered in India Delta strain.
Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, said last week that the delta strain is “the most infectious variant we have seen so far.”
Although health authorities around the world are collecting and sharing data on the spread of the new variant, there is concern that in developing countries with less-sound surveillance systems, the delta strain may have spread farther than reported.
Like the previous COVID-19 variants, the delta strain has proven to be able to effectively avoid most existing border and quarantine measures. In Australia, despite strict controls, cases have already appeared in Melbourne.
Indonesia said on Monday that it expects a new wave of coronavirus infections to reach its peak in early July because the delta strain has become more dominant in some areas and the hospital occupancy rate in Jakarta has reached 75%.
The hospital in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, has been obliterated by a surge of COVID-19 cases. The country’s President Tshisekedi said that the country is in the middle of a third wave of outbreaks driven in part by the delta strain. After detecting the delta strain, the Zimbabwean government announced a two-week partial blockade of Hulungue and Kariba over the weekend. On June 15, Kuwait also reported the first case of Delta strain detected in its territory.
(source:internet, reference only)