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Expert says Delta Plus could be up to 15% more transmissible than Delta Covid variant

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Covid-19 testing in Pattaya (October 2021) | Photo courtesy of PR Pattaya

The Delta Plus coronavirus subvariant, which has recently been detected in Thailand, could be up to 15% more transmissible than the original Delta strain, according to the vice chairman of the Thai Senate health committee. As reported by Thai PBS World, Dr Chalermchai Boonyaleephan says that preliminary studies indicate Delta Plus cases account for 6% of new infections in the UK. But at this point,  it remains a “Variant under Investigation”, rather than a “Variant of Concern”, due to insufficient information about its potential severity.

Amid confirmation of the first Delta Plus case in Thailand, the Disease Control Department today got on the front foot in seeking to stave off local anxiety. Dr Chawetsan Namwat, the department’s Division of Disease Control and Emergency Health Hazards director, has stressed that the World Health Organisation has not upgraded the subvariant to a virus of concern.

Dr Chalermchai also noted that Delta Plus alone is not responsible for the recent Covid surge in the UK, with several other subvariants also in the mix, including the original Delta strain. He additionally pointed to relaxed attitudes and an easing of restrictions as potential contributors to the surge.

Thai PBS World reported that, while four Delta subvariants have been detected in Thailand, Dr Chalermchai said that none of them are capable of causing symptoms more serious than the original strain. With the single case of Delta Plus locally, Dr Chalermchai stressed that, while there is no cause for alarm, greater caution should regardless be exercised.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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