Last updated on 06/21/2021 08:52 PM
Post ID: 1020
WHO says delta is the fastest and fittest Covid variant and will ‘pick off’ most vulnerable
The highly contagious delta variant is the fastest and fittest coronavirus strain yet, and it will “pick off” the most vulnerable people, especially in places with low Covid-19 vaccination rates, World Health Organization officials warned Monday.
Delta, first identified in India, has the potential “to be more lethal because it’s more efficient in the way it transmits between humans and it will eventually find those vulnerable individuals who will become severely ill, have to be hospitalized and potentially die,” Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s health emergencies program, said during a news conference.
Ryan said world leaders and public health officials can help defend the most vulnerable through the donation and distribution of Covid vaccines.
“We can protect those vulnerable people, those front-line workers,” Ryan said, “and the fact that we haven’t, as Director-General [Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus] has said, again and again, is a catastrophic moral failure at a global level.”
The WHO said Friday that delta is becoming the dominant variant of the disease worldwide.
The agency declared delta a “variant of concern” last month. A variant can be labeled as “of concern” if it has been shown to be more contagious, more deadly or more resistant to current vaccines and treatments, according to the health organization.
Delta is now replacing alpha, the highly contagious variant that swept across Europe and later the U.S. earlier this year, Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, said in a recent interview.