Delta variant more transmissible: Indian expert

Published July 20, 2021, 6:50 AM

by Xinhua

NEW DELHI, India– Chairperson of the COVID-19 Working Group of the Indian National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) and Co-Chair of Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) Dr N K Arora Monday said B.1.617.2, known as the Delta variant, is around 40-60 percent more transmissible than the Alpha Variant.

“It (Delta variant) has mutations in its spike protein, which helps it bind to the ACE2 receptors present on the surface of the cells more firmly, making it more transmissible and capable of evading the body’s immunity. It is around 40-60 percent more transmissible than its predecessor (Alpha variant) and has already spread to more than 80 countries, including the UK, the USA, Singapore, and so on,” the health ministry quoted Arora as saying.

INSACOG is a consortium of 28 laboratories that was established by the Indian federal health ministry in last December. Since then it has been carrying out genomic sequencing and analysis of circulating COVID-19 viruses and correlating epidemiological trends with genomic variants.