What we know about the Delta variant now in Melbourne
The Delta variant of COVID-19 now in Melbourne is likely more transmissible than other variants of the virus seen so far, but there is no conclusive evidence it causes worse illness in children. Genomic testing of a family of four who had returned from Jervis Bay in NSW revealed on Friday they had been infected with the new variant. They have been linked to three cases in another family.The seven cases are unconnected to Melbourne's current cluster, which is being driven by the less-infectious Kappa variant.There is some evidence the Delta variant may modestly cut the effectiveness of vaccines.
© Reuters Two vaccine doses are much more effective against the Delta variant than one, PHE found
The Delta (Indian) variant is about 60% more transmissible than the Alpha (Kent) variant and vaccines are less effective against it, Public Health England has said.
More than 90% of new COVID-19 cases in the UK are now the Delta variant.
The variant, first identified in India, has taken over from the Alpha variant as the most dominant in the UK.
Since last week, the number of Delta variant cases across the UK has increased by 243% to 42,323.
New PHE research suggests the Delta variant is associated with an approximately 60% increased risk of household transmission compared with the Alpha variant.
40 percent infectious than b.1.1.7: Delta variant spreads faster in England than all mutants previously
the first-india-proven Coronavirus variant Delta (B.1.617.2) spreads much faster in England than All other variants before. Alone within last week, the number of observed cases of 5,472 increased to 12,431, so the most recent report by Public Health England (PHE). At the weekend, the Minister of Health had told that the higher transferability to about 40 percent over the Alpha variant B.1.1.7 . - The already significantly infectious than the wild type of the virus.
And Delta cases are doubling across all regions of the country in between 4.5 days to 11.5 days.
Overall infections in England have risen to the highest since the week to 10 April, with one in 560 people in the week to 5 June compared with one in 640 the week before, latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures revealed. © Other Two vaccine doses are the key to being effective against the Delta variant. Table: PHE
There were 96,800 people in private households in England who were estimated to have had COVID-19 that week, up from 85,600.
In England, 39,061 Delta variant cases have now been confirmed, with 2,035 in Scotland, 184 in Wales and 43 in Northern Ireland.
PHE said the large increase from 12,341 last week to 42,323 this week has been partly driven by faster test turnaround times and a quicker process for identifying cases of the variant.
Should our borders stay closed against morphing COVID strains, or open up?
Is there any sense in being isolated when all we have to do is get vaccinated to get on top of the virus? Yes — and no.Today: how can it be wise to open our international borders when COVID-19 keeps developing deadly and virulent strains? But then, how can it be fair to keep Australian citizens out of their mostly COVID-safe country by keeping the borders closed?
The latest COVID-19 risk assessment by PHE reports the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines are less effective against the Delta variant than the Alpha one by 17% after one dose.
But there was little reduction in efficacy after two, meaning getting a second dose is integral to protection against the Delta variant.
The PHE authors said: "This would support maximising vaccine uptake with two doses among vulnerable groups."
As of 7 June, there have been 42 deaths in England of people confirmed as having the Delta variant and who died within 28 days of testing positive.
Of these people, 23 were unvaccinated, seven had had their first dose more than 21 days before and 12 had their second dose more than 14 days before.
Indian Delta variant could create two Americas, experts warn .
As of Friday, the Delta variant first identified in India accounted for 10 percent of new U.S. cases, but it is highly contagious, and the CDC expects it to dominate in a matter of weeks. Strong regional variations in vaccination coverage have emerged after doses were made available to all adults, with liberal states in the Northeast vaccinated at nearly double the rate of conservative strongholds in the Deep South. 'I call it two COVID nations,' Peter Hotez, a vaccine researcher at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, told BuzzFeed News.