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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
Highlights
  • When there is contagious variant, one dose is not enough: Dr Feigl-Ding
  • The world is far from containing the pandemic: Dr Eric Feigl-Ding
  • Delta variant that was first detected in India is spreading fast: Expert

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

26,06,51,261Cases
22,14,73,133Active
3,39,88,797Recovered
51,89,331Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 196 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 26,06,51,261 and 51,89,331 have died; 22,14,73,133 are active cases and 3,39,88,797 have recovered as on November 27, 2021 at 4:06 am.

India

3,45,63,749 8,318Cases
1,07,0193,114Active
3,39,88,797 10,967Recovered
4,67,933 465Deaths
In India, there are 3,45,63,749 confirmed cases including 4,67,933 deaths. The number of active cases is 1,07,019 and 3,39,88,797 have recovered as on November 27, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

66,33,105

12,153 699

64,80,061 665

1,40,891 34

Kerala

51,24,618 4,677

50,109 2,343

50,35,384 6,632

39,125 388

Karnataka

29,94,963 402

6,640 119

29,50,130 277

38,193 6

Tamil Nadu

27,23,991 746

8,418 24

26,79,130 759

36,443 11

Andhra Pradesh

20,72,198 184

2,163 31

20,55,603 214

14,432 1

Uttar Pradesh

17,10,368 8

91 0

16,87,368 8

22,909

West Bengal

16,13,451 710

7,847 20

15,86,165 721

19,439 9

Delhi

14,40,807 23

301 8

14,15,411 31

25,095

Odisha

10,48,228 219

2,216 5

10,37,609 222

8,403 2

Chhattisgarh

10,06,706 33

319 7

9,92,794 26

13,593

Rajasthan

9,54,715 21

174 19

9,45,586 2

8,955

Gujarat

8,27,354 27

308 7

8,16,954 34

10,092

Madhya Pradesh

7,93,097 9

103 1

7,82,466 8

10,528

Haryana

7,71,643 21

158 2

7,61,431 19

10,054

Bihar

7,26,209 5

45 1

7,16,501 6

9,663

Telangana

6,75,319 171

3,534 3

6,67,798 167

3,987 1

Assam

6,16,312 175

2,791 44

6,07,435 219

6,086

Punjab

6,03,173 41

335 21

5,86,245 18

16,593 2

Jharkhand

3,49,196 12

109 0

3,43,947 12

5,140

Uttarakhand

3,44,169 13

144 13

3,36,618 26

7,407

Jammu And Kashmir

3,36,237 174

1,719 13

3,30,048 157

4,470 4

Himachal Pradesh

2,26,859 102

827 8

2,22,190 107

3,842 3

Goa

1,78,799 34

266 11

1,75,152 22

3,381 1

Mizoram

1,33,921 359

4,227 111

1,29,206 469

488 1

Puducherry

1,28,825 31

321 3

1,26,632 28

1,872

Manipur

1,25,098 28

674 13

1,22,456 39

1,968 2

Tripura

84,771 10

80 4

83,871 6

820

Meghalaya

84,394 16

335 4

82,591 20

1,468

Chandigarh

65,438 8

48 7

64,570 1

820

Arunachal Pradesh

55,260 2

33 1

54,947 3

280

Sikkim

32,207 9

119 6

31,685 15

403

Nagaland

32,096 4

136 5

31,264 9

696

Ladakh

21,467 32

243 8

21,011 24

213

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,683

1 0

10,678

4

Lakshadweep

10,394 11

29 11

10,314

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,678 1

3 0

7,546 1

129

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