Herald on Sunday

Fears grow over Delta virus strain


There are rising fears the Indian strain of the Covid-19 virus could derail longawaite­d reopenings and plunge the world back into crisis. The so-called Delta variant, first detected in India last October, has now spread to at least 62 countries and is behind a growing number of outbreaks across Asia and Africa, the World Health Organisati­on says. In the UK, the Delta variant — given the new name by the WHO to simplify its scientific name, B.1.617.2 and to avoid stigmatisi­ng countries that detect new strains — now accounts for 90 per cent of new cases, which have begun to surge again despite a strong vaccinatio­n campaign. On Friday, Britain recorded 8125 new cases, the highest daily number in four months and a 58 per cent weekly increase, with 158 people hospitalis­ed. The figures are forcing the UK Government to consider delaying the final easing of restrictio­ns on June 21 by either two or four weeks, The Times reported.

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