UNITED KINGDOM: Europe is gearing up for dealing with the sudden surge in the COVID-19 Delta variant cases. The European Union (EU) health officials have said that the variant would account for 90% of the cases by late August. Earlier the Alpha variant had hit Europe pretty hard this year. However, it is reported that the Delta variant is 40%-60% more transmissible than the Alpha variant.
Andrea Ammon, the director of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), said, “The spread of the Delta variant showed the importance of speeding up vaccinations in Europe. Preliminary data shows that it can also infect individuals that have received only one dose of the currently available vaccines”.
Delta variant that was first found in India now accounts for almost all new COVID-19 infections in the UK. Due to this, the UK is now out of the EU’s list of safe countries.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that while fully vaccinating people offered “a good way forward” for resuming travel, this summer would not be “like every other. This is going to be a more difficult summer to take a holiday”.
Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela has said that Europe is “on thin ice” due to the rapid spread of the Delta variant. She also called for a coordinated response from the EU and the member states.
In France, COVID-19 cases have been decreasing gradually. However, the Delta variant has been causing concern in the southwest of the country.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Jean Castex and the country’s health minister visited Les Landes, where the variant accounts for 70% of infections.
Meanwhile, health officials in Denmark have asked 4,000 fans to get tested after three people who attended Denmark vs Belgium match contracted the Delta variant.