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Delta variant 60% more transmissible, reduces vax effect: UK

London: The Delta variant of COVID-19, or the B1.617.2 variant of concern (VOC) first identified in India, is about 60 per cent more transmissible than the Alpha strain identified in the UK and also reduces the effectiveness of vaccines to some extent, UK health experts report on Friday.

Public Health England (PHE), which has been tracking VOCs on a weekly basis, said that the cases of the Delta VOC have risen by 29,892 to hit 42,323 in the country an increase of around 70 per cent.

The latest data also indicates that over 90 per cent of new COVID-19 cases in the UK are now the Delta variant, which continues to show a significantly higher rate of growth compared to the Alpha VOC which was first identified in the region of Kent in England and was the dominant variant in the country so far.

New research from PHE suggests that the Delta variant is associated with an approximately 60 per cent increased risk of household transmission compared to the Alpha variant.

Growth rates for Delta cases are high across the regions, with regional estimates for doubling time ranging from 4.5 days to 11.5 days, PHE said in its latest analysis.

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