Coronavirus news – live: India says Delta variant accounts for 80% of new Covid cases, led to second wave
The Delta variant of Covid-19 — which was first identified in India last year — accounts for over 80 per cent of the new infections in the country, an expert with the Indian government has said.
Dr NK Arora, co-chair of India’s Covid genomics consortium (Insacog), also said that the Delta variant was primarily responsible for the second wave of the pandemic in the country.
He said that this variant is around 40-60 per cent more transmissible than the Alpha variant — which was first detected in the UK and has already spread to more than 80 countries.
The second wave of the pandemic — which the Indian government says has not ended yet — saw hospitals swamped with patients and struggling to cope as they ran out of medical oxygen and essential medicines. India is now facing a possible third wave of the pandemic, experts have said.
Meanwhile, Canada said it will begin letting fully vaccinated US tourists enter the country from 9 August and visitors from other countries from 7 September.
The number of cases in the US has started climbing as the Delta variant spreads. The average number of new daily infections has tripled in the past 30 days in the country, according to a Reuters analysis.
India offered 7.5 million doses of Moderna through Covax, says WHO
India has been offered 7.5 million doses of Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine through the Covax vaccine sharing programme, Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, regional director of World Health Organisation South East Asia, said.
However, it’s not yet clear when the doses would arrive in India. This is largely because the Indian government has not yet decided on the indemnity demand raised by vaccine manufacturers, sources told news agency PTI.
India gave emergency use authorisation to the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine last month, making it the fourth coronavirus shot available in the country.