Dr. NK Arora, the Chief of the Covid-19 working group of the National Technical Advisory Group of Immunization (NTAGI) says that the Delta variant of the novel coronavirus is nearly 40-60 percent more transmissible as compared to Alpha variant.
He also said that “It is around 40-60 percent more transmissible than its predecessor (Alpha variant) and has already spread to more than 80 countries, including India, UK, US, Singapore, and others.”
Explaining the reason Dr. Arora said that the Delta variant has mutations in its spike protein which helps it to bind to the ACE2 receptors that are present on the surface of the cells and this is what makes it more transmissible.
However, the Delta variant first identified in October 2020 in India. Also, it believed to be primarily responsible for the second wave in the country, accounting for over 80 percent of Covid-19 cases.
Though the country now has a significant dip in the Covid-19 cases, some regions are still witnessing a high Test Positivity Rate (TPR), mainly in the southern and north-eastern parts of the country.
Previously, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said a shortage of vaccines in poor countries was exacerbating the spread of the Delta variant.
On Monday, the government said in a press bulletin that the current vaccines are quite effective against the Delta variant. The government also added to its statement that “The new mutations/variants of concern are cultured and scientific studies are undertaken to see the impact on infectiousness, virulence, vaccine efficacy, and immune escape properties.”