Delta variant reported in 85 countries, expected to become dominant lineage: WHO

News Network
June 24, 2021

The Delta variant, the significantly more transmissible strain of Covid-19, is expected to become a “dominant lineage” if current trends continue, the WHO has warned after it was reported in 85 countries and continues to be detected in more places around the world.

The Covid-19 Weekly Epidemiological Update released on June 22 by the World Health Organisation (WHO) said that globally, the variant Alpha has been reported in 170 countries, territories or areas, Beta in 119 countries, Gamma in 71 countries and Delta in 85 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 update said.

WHO said the four current 'Variants of Concern' being monitored closely – Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta - are widespread and have been detected in all WHO regions.

“The Delta variant is significantly more transmissible than Alpha variant, and is expected to become a dominant lineage if current trends continue.”

The update said that India reported the highest numbers of new Covid19 cases, 441,976 over the past week (June 14-20, 2021), a 30 per cent decrease as compared to the previous week. The highest numbers of new deaths were reported from India (16,329 new deaths; 1.2 new deaths per 100,000; a 31 per cent decrease).

The South-East Asia Region reported over 600,000 new cases and over 19,000 new deaths, a 21 per cent and a 26 per cent decrease respectively compared to the previous week.

“Decreasing trends in weekly case and death incidence in the Region are predominantly associated with decreases reported in India,” the update said.

WHO noted that since the last detailed update on June 8, new evidence has been published on the phenotypic characteristics of the Delta variant. “A study from Singapore showed that infection with Delta variant was associated with higher odds of oxygen requirement, intensive care unit (ICU) admission, or death,” it said.

Further, a study in Japan "estimating the relative instantaneous reproductive number (a measure of transmission at a specific point in time) showed that the Delta variant was associated with greater transmissibility" when compared to the Alpha variant.

“When compared with the variants circulating in Japan before December 2020, the relative instantaneous reproduction number for Alpha was estimated to be at 1.56 and for Delta 1.78. Overall, this study showed Delta was associated with 1.23 times higher transmissibility than Alpha,” the update said.

The update also took note of two studies that have provided evidence of the effectiveness of Pfizer BioNTech-Comirnaty and AstraZeneca-Vaxzevria vaccines against the Delta variant. One study reports on the effectiveness of these vaccines against severe disease (hospitalisation) due to Delta among persons over the age of 16 years in the United Kingdom.

Vaccine effectiveness estimates against hospitalisation due to Delta and Alpha variants over 14 days post second dose was estimated to be 96 per cent and 95 per cent respectively for Pfizer BioNTech- Comirnaty and 92 per cent and 86 per cent respectively, for AstraZeneca-Vaxzevria.

Single dose effectiveness against hospitalisation over 21 days after immunisation remained high for Pfizer BioNTech-Comirnaty at 94 per cent against Delta and 83 per cent against Alpha. Effectiveness of one dose of AstraZeneca-Vaxzevria against hospitalization was similar for Delta and Alpha variants.

A second study from Scotland found that two doses of Pfizer BioNTech-Comirnaty were 83 per cent and 79 per cent effective against symptomatic disease and infection due to Delta, respectively, over 14 days after receipt of second dose in persons 15 years and older.

“Together, these studies suggest moderately reduced VE at preventing symptomatic disease and infection due to the Delta variant as compared to Alpha...The studies also provide further evidence of the importance of two doses of both Pfizer BioNTech-Comirnaty and AstraZeneca-Vaxzevria in preventing hospitalisation, symptomatic disease and infection due to both Delta and Alpha variants,” the update said.

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News Network
July 27,2021

Bengaluru, July 27: Former MLA and former president of JD(S) youth wing Madhu Bangarappa will join the Congress during the party's meeting to be held at Gokul Garden in Hubballi on July 30 at 9:00 am.

Bangarappa and his supporters will join the party in the presence of AICC general secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala, KPCC president D K Shivakumar and Leader of Opposition in Legislative Assembly Siddaramaiah, said Congress leader Rajat Ullagaddimath.

JD(S) leaders Kiran Hiremath, Basavaraj Mayakar (Bellad) and other leaders in Hubballi will also join the Congress, a press release stated.

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News Network
July 24,2021

Silver.jpg

Mirabai Chanu on Saturday won a silver medal in the women's 49 kg weightlifting competition to open India's counter at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The Manipur athlete lifted a total weight of 202 kg to win the medal. The gold in the event was won by China's Hou Zhihui, who picked a combined weight total of 210 kg.

Chanu picked a total of 87 kg in the snatch part of the event and ended with a lift of 115 kg in clean and jerk. She is the second Indian weightlifter after Karnam Malleswari to win an Olympic medal.

Chanu has been a world champion in the past, when she won the gold medal in the 48 kg category in Anaheim. She is the reigning Commonwealth Games gold medallist in the 48kg category.

A confident smile never leaving her face, Mirabai Chanu ended India's over two-decade long wait for a weightlifting medal at the Olympics, clinching the 49kg category silver medal five years after leaving the same platform in tears following a disastrous debut.

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News Network
July 23,2021

New Delhi, July 23: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah used the Pegasus spyware against India and its institutions, and "the only word for this is treason", Congress leader Rahul Gandhi alleged on Friday.

Gandhi demanded a Supreme Court-monitored probe into the matter. Addressing reporters at Vijay Chowk, he also demanded the resignation of the home minister.

He said all his phones have been tapped and his friends were informed by intelligence people that this is being done.

"Pegasus is classified by the Israeli state as a weapon and that weapon is supposed to be used against terrorists. The prime minister and the home minister have used this weapon against the Indian state and our institutions. They have used it politically, they have used it in Karnataka..," he told reporters.

"The only word for this is treason,” he said. The matter has to be investigated, the former Congress president said. “A judicial inquiry monitored by the Supreme Court should be conducted and the home minister must resign," he told reporters.

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Ramesh Mishra
 - 
Sunday, 1 Aug 2021

"THIS IS TREASON" RAHUL GANDHI: INDIA; The Home Minister has failed to maintain law and order in India and has caused massive death, he must be accountable.
Ramesh Mishra

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