Delta world's most dominant variant of COVID-19: WHO

WHO has downgraded alpha, beta, gamma variants and three other variants – eta, iota and kappa – to “variants under monitoring”, indicating that they “no longer pose a major risk to global public health” as they are being out-competed by delta.

Created On: Sep 23, 2021 11:49 IST
Maria Van Kerkhove
Maria Van Kerkhove

Delta variant of COVID-19 is by far the world's most dominant variant, surpassing other variants of concern-alpha, beta and gamma, informed World Health Organization’s (WHO) technical lead Maria Van Kerkhove on September 22, 2021. 

The WHO scientist stated that the delta variant has become more fit and transmissible over time and is now actively replacing all other Covid-variants in circulation. WHO has now downgraded its advisories for three other variants of concern in the wake of delta outcompeting and replacing everything else. 

WHO has downgraded alpha, beta, gamma variants and three other variants – eta, iota and kappa – to “variants under monitoring”, indicating that they “no longer pose a major risk to global public health” as they are being out-competed by delta.

WHO's Kerkhove stated that this is due to changes in circulation and that the variants of interest are just out-competed by the variants of concern. "They’re just not taking hold,” she added.

The Delta variant has now been detected in 185 countries so far and has caused a spike in infections all across. The variant was behind the deadly second wave of COVID-19 in India and it also caused the recent surge of cases in the United States. 

The World Health Organization has also said that the number of global COVID-19 deaths and infections have declined in recent weeks, which reflects the increased access to vaccines in developed nations even though developing economies are still struggling to vaccinate their populations. 

WHO’s emergencies chief, Mike Ryan has though warned that previous dip in cases were followed by sharp spikes. He though added saying that countries with high immunization rates had less to worry about and that "it shows us that vaccines work."

WHO's Maria Van Kerkhove also warned that the Delta variant will not be the last COVID19 variant of concern. To fight the same, she urged that we need to increase vaccination efforts, improve surveillance systems, test efficiently, manage gatherings appropriately, communicate consistently and fix ventilation.

COVID-19 vaccine summit 

US President Joe Biden set ambitious goals for ending the COVID-19 pandemic during the virtual COVID-19 summit meeting, which he convened on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York. The US President, while declaring coronavirus as “all-hands-on-deck crisis,” urged world leaders to embrace the target of vaccinating 70 percent of the world by next year.

He also announced the purchase of an additional 500 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine at a not-for-profit price to fone and $370 million to administer the shots. Vice President Kamala Harris announced that the US will donate $250 million to a new global fund, which aims to raise $10 billion to prevent future pandemics.

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