The Public Health Inspectors’ (PHI) Union charges that Sri Lanka’s COVID-19 elimination programme is being carried out without a proper understanding of the Delta variant, known as B.1.617.2, which has spread to at least 85 countries since it was first identified in India last fall.
The Delta variant of the Coronavirus has health authorities around the world concerned. Four major cities in Australia went into a four-day lockdown of breaking the circuit and Australia's Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, announced looser vaccination policies to immunize more people before the variant could spread out.
As a reaction to this threat, Ireland has delayed plans to resume indoor service in bars and restaurants while US officials have urged Americans to get vaccinated to stop its spread.
Public Health Inspector's Association (PHIA) President Upul Rohana said that this could push the country into a risky situation while most of the social health analysts said that this will become more disastrous if the Sri Lankan government fails to take a firm, practical countermeasures. They noted that the island’s health system infrastructure is not strong enough to face this kind of a variant.
Upul Rohana pointed out that infections of the Delta variant have been reported from several areas of the country where nearly 2,000 coronavirus-positive cases are reported daily.
By mid-June, the Delta variant accounted for 99% of Covid-19 cases in the UK, according to an organisation named Public Health England, and it is also set to account for 90% of cases in Europe by the end of August, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.
In the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now estimates the variant accounts for 26% of new Covid-19 cases while It has been reported in all 50 states, plus Washington, D.C. Real life and laboratory evidence both suggest that fully vaccinated people are protected against the Delta variant.
The good news is that if you are vaccinated, there is good evidence to suggest that individuals have a high degree of protection against this virus.
But if you are not vaccinated, then you are in trouble because the virus carries a cluster of mutations, including one known as L452R, that helps it infect human cells more easily.
According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), this variant is about 40% to 60% more transmissible than the Alpha variant.
“Proper research should be conducted on the Delta variant in all reported and non-reported areas and the accurate findings must be given to the Public Health Inspectors’ (PHI) in Sri Lanka. And he further emphasized that the COVID-19 control program is currently implemented without a full understanding of this Delta Variant,” Upul Rohana said.
The Delta variant is becoming the globally dominant version of the disease, the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) chief scientist said recently.
According to the WHO, this variant showed higher transmissibility and reduced neutralization (by antibodies).
This variant is first said to have been detected in India in late 2020 thus there is a very close possibility of finding clusters of people infected in Sri Lanka as well.
While US Surgeon-General Dr. Vivek Murthy told CNN Wednesday that they have identified this virus as a variant of Covid which is highly transmissible, particularly the most transmissible they have seen to date.
Furthermore, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus confirmed on Friday that Delta Variant is the most transmissible of the variants identified so far.