As world is witnessing the rapid spread of the delta variant of Covid-19, which has triggered the need for countries to reimpose restrictions and lockdowns in order to curb its spread, America’s surgeon general Dr Vivek Murthy said on Wednesday the variant is significantly more transmissible and more dangerous with regard to the severity of illness that it causes.
Highlighting the fact that the Delta variant makes up 90 per cent of all new cases, Dr Murthy told MSNBC news, “We have seen how quickly it has taken over in the United Kingdom, where it’s become – getting close to 100 per cent of new Covid cases, Delta. And we have seen a surge here too. So I am worried.”
Dr Murthy said he is worried for those people who haven’t been administered the vaccine against the Covid-19 disease. Referring to studies from the United Kingdom, he added that if people are completely vaccinated, they are well protected against hospitalisations and deaths.
“The worry is if you’re not vaccinated, that you’re at even greater risk than you were before. So, what I don’t want to see is a growing divide in our country between the unvaccinated and vaccinated. We’ve got to close that gap. That’s why we’re working so hard to get people vaccinated everywhere,” the top doctor said while responding to a question.
The United States, which is currently the worst-hit from the pandemic, has so far inoculated nearly 56 per cent of its citizens with both doses of the vaccine and 65.4 per cent have received the first dose. The vaccination rate for children aged 12 years and above is 62.5 per cent and over 65 per cent are over 18 years.
Dr Murthy pointed out the level of risk of getting infected with the variant depends on where people live and how high the vaccination rates are. “And this is why we always say – and I say this as a dad who’s got two young kids, three and four, whose -… we don’t have a vaccine available for kids that young. So, I’m worried about my kids, just like any other parents are,” he further told MSNBC news.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the Delta variant has been reported in 85 countries so far and is continuing to be detected in more countries. “Delta, now reported in 85 countries globally, continues to be reported in new countries across all WHO Regions, 11 of which were newly reported in the past two weeks,” the WHO said in its weekly updated, adding this variant is more transmissible than Alpha variant and can become a dominant lineage if current trends continue.
(With agency inputs)