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Vaccination Needs To Be Boosted Massively As The Contagious Delta Variant Of COVID-19 Continues To Spread, Says Epidemiologist Dr Eric Feigl-Ding

According to US-based epidemiologist Dr Eric Feigl-Ding, Delta variant continues to spread quickly in the world and threatens the fight against COVID-19

Vaccination Needs To Be Boosted Massively As The Contagious Delta Variant Of COVID-19 Continues To Spread, Says Epidemiologist Dr Eric Feigl-Ding

New Delhi: According to experts, the Delta variant of lineage B.1.617.2 that was first spotted in India in October 2020, is seen as being responsible for the devastating second wave of COVID-19 in the country. Declared as a variant of concern by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on May 11, 2021, the Delta variant is spreading fast in the world with various European countries, the United States of America and Australia reporting a spike in the cases caused by the Delta variant. NDTV spoke with US-based epidemiologist and Health Economist Dr Eric Feigl-Ding to learn about the transmissibility and risks of the Delta variant of COVID-19.

Also Read: Signs Of Brain Inflammation Found In People Who Died Of COVID-19: Study

Delta Variant Spreading Around The World

“Delta variant has progressed a lot,” said Dr Feigl-Ding adding that the number of cases of this variant has increased three times in one week. He said,

This is very alarming. We know that the Delta variant spreads very quickly, and we know that there are parts of America that are not vaccinated enough. The variant is on a surge in the whole world. It is incredibly infectious. In Australia, even fleeting contact of mere seconds has led to several infections and mini outbreaks, so it is very dangerous.

Talking about the Delta variant’s capability to spread to others and causing the disease even when the contact was merely brushing past the infected person, Dr Feigl-Ding said that it is very clear that Delta variant is not like any other variant and is one of the most contagious. He said,

WHO has recently said that Delta variant is two times more contagious than the old strain and that is way more than Alpha variant (first detected in the UK) or the P1 (Gamma) variant, first detected in Brazil.

Also Read: If COVID Appropriate Behaviour Followed, Cases In Third Wave Won’t Strain Health System: Health ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal

Delta Variant Vs Vaccines

Giving example of Israel, where most of the adult population is vaccinated, Delta variant cases are reported to be increasing among children, Dr Feigl-Ding highlighted that there have been breakthrough (getting infected even after taking the vaccine) cases of Delta variant infections among the adults. He said,

Clearly, the high levels of vaccination were not enough to slow down the spread. We need to learn that when we have more contagious variants, one dose is not enough. You really need to go for two doses.

Dr Feigl-Ding added that if a virus has double transmissibility from the original strain, the threshold of herd immunity for fully vaccinated also needs to be increased. He said,

70 per cent is no longer the threshold for herd immunity. It needs to be in the upper 80s to 90 per cent.

He highlighted that most of the nations in the world have not vaccinated even half of their population. He said,

We need probably, 2-3 billion more doses. There is a need to increase vaccination manifold.

Delta Plus Variant

In India, so far, the Delta Plus variant has been reported in four states. While there are some unique mutations that make it potentially worrisome, more data is required in order to determine the risks involved, said Dr Feigl-Ding. According to, he said that there is a need for more data. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India has however stated Delta Plus variant as a variant of concern in the country.

Dr Feigl-Ding warned that the world is far away from containing the pandemic and doing away with masks or social distancing. The Delta variant is currently the greatest challenge as it is 2.5 times likely to cause hospitalization, he said. He also called upon people to remain vigilant and remember that the pandemic is not over yet.

Also Read: Third Wave Of COVID-19 Can Be Stopped If Preventive Measures Are Followed: Dr. V. K. Paul, NITI Aayog Member

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

22,70,55,138Cases
18,97,86,461Active
3,25,98,424Recovered
46,70,253Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 195 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 22,70,55,138 and 46,70,253 have died; 18,97,86,461 are active cases and 3,25,98,424 have recovered as on September 17, 2021 at 5:36 am.

India

3,33,81,728 34,403Cases
3,39,0563,867Active
3,25,98,424 37,950Recovered
4,44,248 320Deaths
In India, there are 3,33,81,728 confirmed cases including 4,44,248 deaths. The number of active cases is 3,39,056 and 3,25,98,424 have recovered as on September 17, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

65,11,525 3,595

52,893 310

63,20,310 3,240

1,38,322 45

Kerala

44,46,228 22,182

1,86,754 4,559

42,36,309 26,563

23,165 178

Karnataka

29,65,191 1,108

16,202 282

29,11,434 808

37,555 18

Tamil Nadu

26,40,361 1,693

16,756 120

25,88,334 1,548

35,271 25

Andhra Pradesh

20,34,786 1,367

14,708 105

20,06,034 1,248

14,044 14

Uttar Pradesh

17,09,628 23

193 11

16,86,549 11

22,886 1

West Bengal

15,59,567 707

8,025 25

15,32,922 725

18,620 7

Delhi

14,38,373 28

409 5

14,12,880 22

25,084 1

Odisha

10,18,298 580

5,335 105

10,04,845 681

8,118 4

Chhattisgarh

10,04,988 31

352 2

9,91,077 29

13,559

Rajasthan

9,54,230 4

103 1

9,45,173 5

8,954

Gujarat

8,25,677 22

149 0

8,15,446 22

10,082

Madhya Pradesh

7,92,374 7

119 5

7,81,738 12

10,517

Haryana

7,70,697 9

327 8

7,60,562 17

9,808

Bihar

7,25,864 12

72 6

7,16,134 6

9,658

Telangana

6,62,785 259

5,282 43

6,53,603 301

3,900 1

Punjab

6,01,180 30

314 11

5,84,399 38

16,467 3

Assam

5,97,074 468

5,381 15

5,85,914 479

5,779 4

Jharkhand

3,48,102 6

102 8

3,42,867 14

5,133

Uttarakhand

3,43,330 20

284 12

3,35,657 32

7,389

Jammu And Kashmir

3,27,466 170

1,421 72

3,21,630 98

4,415

Himachal Pradesh

2,16,430 127

1,568 82

2,11,215 206

3,647 3

Goa

1,75,183 95

699 1

1,71,195 96

3,289

Puducherry

1,25,170 107

963 63

1,22,380 42

1,827 2

Manipur

1,17,913 216

2,614 7

1,13,478 219

1,821 4

Tripura

83,787 31

427 26

82,553 56

807 1

Meghalaya

78,958 229

1,804 140

75,784 86

1,370 3

Mizoram

76,591 1,121

13,888 85

62,449 1,202

254 4

Chandigarh

65,168 4

31 2

64,319 2

818

Arunachal Pradesh

53,990 47

536 9

53,183 56

271

Sikkim

30,802 64

775 28

29,648 36

379

Nagaland

30,763 32

505 14

29,610 44

648 2

Ladakh

20,631 6

41 1

20,383 5

207

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,670

5 0

10,661

4

Lakshadweep

10,353

4 0

10,298

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,595 3

15 2

7,451 1

129

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