Does a ‘delta variant’ mean a new wave?

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The discovery of a new and more infectious ‘delta variant’ of coronavirus worries many a new wave might be coming

While the ambitious Canadian vaccination program continues, the discovery of the ‘delta variant’ casts new shadows. This variant, more infectious and causing more severe symptoms, could become dominant in Ontario in just a matter of weeks. Moreover, this new variant could severely impact vaccination programs across Canada.

The variant is one of two in the B.1.617 family, which is responsible for much of the COVID-19-related havoc in India in recent months. The WHO has now named B.1.617.2 the ‘delta variant’ and has detected it in over 60 countries worldwide.

This includes Canada, where B.1.617 cases have appeared in all provinces except Nova Scotia. The variation might also be responsible for a COVID-19 epidemic at the Mary River Mine on Baffin Island in Nunavut. According to Dr. Peter Juni, scientific director at the Science Advisory Table of the Ontario government, the delta variant is around 50 percent more transmissible than the UK variant. Since the UK variant was the one responsible for the third wave in our country, health officials are on alarm.

Commenting on the delta variant, Juni stated that the virus is “definitely upping its game. The same concerns emerge from Dr. Lawrence Loh, the chief medical officer in the Peel Region. Stating that the trends remain concerning, he also remarked how preliminary data suggests the delta variant will become dominant in just a matter of weeks in Ontario.

Nonetheless, vaccines will prevent surges, according to Dr. Sumon Chakrabarti from Mississauga. He stated that the vaccination campaign “will make a difference”, and that he doubts the new variant “is going to cause anything like what we saw a few months ago, with the third wave”. Therefore, we have reason to be optimistic.