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Delta variant more transmissible but not more fatal than others- WHO expert

28 Jul 2021 - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}      

  • Increased risk of hospitalisation but not severity  
  • Vaccines work against it
  • Public health, social measures work

By Kelum Bandara  

An expert of the World Health Organization (WHO) said Delta variant of Covid-19 is more transmissible and results in more hospitalisation, but it is not more fatal than others.  

Infectious Diseases Epidemiologist Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove said some of the mutations identified in this variant allowed the virus to adhere to the cell more readily and easily, and therefore it infected people easier.  
“So, Delta variant is more transmissible. We have, in two countries, data suggesting that there is an increased risk of hospitalisation. We have not seen that translate into increased severity. We have not seen Delta translate into higher case fatality rate,” she said in a short video clip posted on Twitter.  

However, she cautioned that the virus continued to change these days, and therefore there could be changes that will render it more severe.  “What we worry about are the changes. And so for now, our diagnostics work. The public health and social measures work. They need to be more stringent. They need to be more strictly used and perhaps for a longer period of time. Again that does not mean lockdown. Our vaccines work against the Delta variant in terms of severe disease and death- so far,” she said.   

Calling this a dynamic situation, she said the best solution  was driving transmission down to prevent people from getting infected in first place.   

“The more it circulates, the more it will change. Delta variant will not be the last variant of concern that you hear us talking about. We do have tools to keep ourselves safe,” she said.



  • So, Delta variant is more transmissible. We have, in two countries,  data suggesting that there is an increased risk of hospitalisation