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‘Vaccination plus masks’, says vaccines not enough against ‘Delta’ variant: WHO

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date
‘Vaccination plus masks’, says vaccines not enough against ‘Delta’ variant: WHO

New Delhi: Vaccination along with safety measures are necessary to fight against Delta Plus Covid-19 variant, said a World Health Organization (WHO) representative, as reported by news agency.

Also Read :- India's daily Covid tally jumps, 43,654 new cases amid fear of 3rd wave

“Vaccination plus masks, because just a vaccine is not enough with ‘Delta.’ We need to make an effort over a short period of time, otherwise there would be a lockdown,” said Melita Vujnovic, WHO representative to Russia, on the Soloviev Live YouTube show.

She said, “Vaccination is essential because it lowers the probability of spreading the virus and lowers the risks of severe disease. However, additional measures will probably be required as well.”

Earlier in this month, the WHO included the Delta variant in its list of coronavirus variants of concern as the strain had become prevalent and has caused a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in some countries.

The Delta Plus is the new mutant version of the Delta strain of COVID-19 first detected in India and its severity is still unknown. Delta Plus coronavirus variant has already been declared as a Variant of Concern in India.

Also Read :- Govt rubbishes reports on missing target of administering 50 cr COVID vaccines by July-end

So far, the Delta Plus variant has been detected in several states including Maharashtra, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Tamil Nadu and Punjab.

Earlier this week, the first death associated with the Delta Plus variant was reported in Madhya Pradesh. The COVID-19 patient was not vaccinated.

The Union Health Ministry, during a press conference on June 25 had informed that as many as 48 Delta Plus cases have been reported in the country.

“Wherever you find a cluster, you have to contain it,” said Director-General of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Dr Balram Bhargava and added that the government, however had said that at this time the spread is still ‘very localised’.

“The virus strain has been isolated and is being cultured by the ICMR – NIV and tests to check its resistance to existing COVID vaccines were ongoing”, the govt added.

Also Read :- India sees a dip in Covid cases after 132 days, reports under 30k fresh cases

The government has also said ‘delta plus’ variant cases had been reported from 12 other countries, including the US and UK.

A study on the effectiveness of the existing COVID-19 vaccine against the Delta Plus variant is underway, ICMR said on Saturday, as reported by news agency.

Amid concerns over COVID-19 third wave, Dr Samiran Panda, Head of Epidemiology, ICMR, said the third wave will not be as severe as the second wave, which had ravaged the country in April-May and stretched healthcare infrastructure.

Suggesting that there is no need to panic, he asserted on the need for scaling up vaccination drive and COVID appropriate behaviour to mitigate many such future waves of the pandemic.

“The third wave of COVID-19 won’t be as severe as the second wave. More vaccination and COVID-19 appropriate behaviour could play an important role in mitigating these waves. A study on vaccine effectiveness on Delta Plus variant of COVID-19 is underway,” said Panda.

Also Read :- Prepare for 4-5 lakh Covid cases per day in 3rd wave: Scientists warn govt
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