Covid-19 Delta variant could be dominant in Europe by August

The Delta variant of Covid-19 is expected to soon account for nearly all new coronavirus infections in Europe, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control said.

In its latest threat assessment report, the ECDC said that since the Delta variant, first detected in India, is 40 to 60 percent more transmissible than the original strain, it is projected to cause 70 percent of new infections in the European Union by early August.

By late August, this figure could reach 90 percent, it said.

The agency also warned that the daily number of new cases, hospitalizations and deaths, could increase to the autumn 2020 levels should non-pharmaceutical measures, such as physical distancing, hand and respiratory hygiene, and use of face masks, to minimize the rate of transmission be relaxed.

The ECDC said the vaccination campaigns must be accelerated. The second Covid-19 vaccine doses should also be administered as early as possible.

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