“We don’t know what the situation will be in Azerbaijan if the Delta variant of COVID spreads in our country,” Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor Adil Geybulla said. He said that it is clear that the Delta strain is dangerous. “In India, more than 400,000 people have died with the virus. Millions of people have been infected. He noted that the Delta strain is highly infectious and lethal, adding that experts are currently studying the Delta Plus strain. There is no unequivocal opinion about the resistance of the vaccine to this type of virus. Therefore, we must strictly adhere to quarantine measures.”

The Delta strain of the coronavirus (B.1.617.2.1) was first detected on October 5, 2020 in the Indian state of Maharashtra. So far, strains of the coronavirus "Alpha" (UK), "Beta" (South Africa), "Gamma" (Brazil) have been spread. These days, the Delta strain has mutated and a new species has emerged. The new type is called Delta Plus. The Delta Plus strain was found in the Indian settlements of Navi Mumbai, Palghar and Ratnagiri. According to the latest data, 40 people have contracted Delta Plus strain in India, and two people have died with the disease.

The World Health Organization (WHO) also confirms that the Delta variant of the coronavirus is spreading faster and is therefore more dangerous. Even WHO experts say that Delta is the most contagious of the coronavirus strains so far. A WHO statement issued on June 18, 2021 states that Delta has become the world’s dominant variant.

Soumya Swaminathan, a senior researcher at the World Health Organization (WHO), tweeted that the Delta strain is twice as contagious as the novel coronavirus. The expert added that this type of coronavirus is more easily transmitted than the original variant, and an infected person can transmit it to not two, but four, six or even eight people. To substantiate her argument, Swaminathan said that the incidence in all family members is now higher than at the beginning of the pandemic.

Answering a question if the Delta Plus variant is more contagious, the expert said that the new strain has the potential to affect the effectiveness of antibodies against the virus.

According to British experts, Delta variant is 1.6 times more contagious than the Alpha strain registered in the UK. Also, compared to those infected with the Alpha strain, those infected with Delta Plus are 2.26 times more likely to be hospitalized and 1.45 times more likely to be resuscitated.

According to the latest WHO data, Delta variant, first discovered in India, has so far been registered in 96 countries around the world. Turkey, Russia and Georgia, which are close to Azerbaijan, are among the countries where the Delta variant of the coronavirus is spread. As of June 29, Delta was detected in 224 people in Turkey, and 134 cases were registered in Istanbul alone. The number of people infected with Delta has also increased in neighboring Georgia. In the last month, 27 people in Georgia have been infected with the Delta variant of the coronavirus. In Russia, a new strain of COVID-19 “Delta Plus” has already been registered. The head of Rospotrebnadzor (Russian consumer watchdog) Anna Popova said that those infected have mild form of the disease.

The World Medical Association has also confirmed that the Delta strain of the coronavirus is rapidly spread. The head of the organization, Frank Ulrich Montgomery, explained this by the fact that the mutated virus immediately takes root in the patient’s throat. According to the expert, this is the reason why a person infected with the coronavirus becomes a carrier of Delta variant in a few hours and spreads the virus without knowing it.

Julian Tang, a virologist and professor at the University of Leicester in the UK, suggests that the Delta variant may be dangerous for unvaccinated people, especially those under the age of 30 who have not yet been vaccinated. The virologist said there is no evidence that the disease had deteriorated so far, adding that Delta was spreading faster than the first and later variants of the coronavirus in Wuhan, China. It is more contagious than the Alpha strain, which is especially prevalent in the UK.

The fact that Delta is more contagious is confirmed by other opinions and facts. Researchers at the National Institute of Virology in India have identified eight mutations in the COVID spikes that enters cells. Two of them were found to allow the virus to spread faster. British experts have concluded that Delta can spread rapidly, remaining not affected by antibodies. In the Russian capital, Moscow, Delta accounts for more than 90 percent of those infected.

Naturally, it can be said that the virus is spreading rapidly, given the situation in India. The Delta variant was discovered in this country on October 5, 2020. Statistics show that the new strain began to spread rapidly in India, not immediately, but after about 5 months.

In late April and early May, the figures peaked. Even on May 6, the daily number of infections exceeded 414,000. At that time, the daily death rate from coronavirus in India was more than 4,000, and in some days, it was close to 5,000.

More than 30.362 million people have been infected in India since the coronavirus was discovered. As of June 29, 398,484 of them died. However, it is not confirmed that all of them are infected with the Delta variant of the virus. Statistics show that before the discovery of the Delta variant (October 2020 - ed.), the number of deaths from coronavirus in India was 102,272. From that time until June 29, 2021, the number of deaths from coronavirus was 294,212. In this sense, the statement of Professor Adil Geybulla that ‘more than 400,000 people have died because of the virus in India’ is not confirmed. On the other hand, it is impossible to say that all those who have died since October have been infected by the Delta variant.

As for the effect of vaccines against Delta strain, experts unanimously agree that all vaccines are effective against this variant. According to some reports, Pfizer-BioNTech is 88% effective against delta and AstraZeneca 92% effective. However, as Adil Geybulla said, there is no concrete opinion on whether the vaccines are effective against the Delta Plus strain.

Based on the above-mentioned facts, we conclude that the Delta strain is spreading faster. Although its lethality has not been unequivocally confirmed, experts consider this variant dangerous due to the rate of infection.