Covid-19 wave four unavoidable, Romanian health authorities say

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The chief of the Department for Emergency Situations, Raed Arafat said on Thursday that, as the new Delta variant is expanding worldwide, no one can guarantee that Romania will not be hit by the 4th wave of the pandemic. However, he underlined that vaccination is the only solution to avoid a serious impact of disease.

At the moment, the Delta variant is growing predominantly worldwide, and in some areas the impact is greater, Arafat said.

“We have things under control at present. Yet an increase of the infections with the Delta strain is possible due to the mobility and as people are entering Romania from other countries where Delta is present.

We stick to the recommendation that vaccination remains the only solution to avoid a serious impact of infection. This can be seen in other countries, where the number of cases has increased, the impact on intensive care units is not the same as before vaccination. There are fewer people vaccinated who make new variants than those who are not vaccinated, according to data from Great Britain”, said Raed Arafat.

“No one can say that we can completely avoid wave 4. Romania is not in a glass bubble, precisely due the mobility, especially during the holidays,” concluded Raed Arafat.

The coordinator of the vaccination campaign Valeriu Gheorghiță told Digi24 in his turn that the question is not whether wave four Covid-19 will come to Romania, but when it will come and what its magnitude will be.

He resumed the call for people to take the anti-Covid jab in order to avoid a significant increase in the number of future infections, as is currently the case in many countries around the world. The doctor stressed that people can go on vacation, but that they must follow the rules of hygiene and social distance.

The Delta variant is now present in almost 100 countries. More transmissible than the alpha variant, it is sparking concerns of further loss of lives and lockdowns.

The earliest documented COVID-19 case caused by the delta variant (B.1.617.2) was found in the Indian state of Maharashtra back in October 2020, and the variant has since spread widely throughout India and across the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) labeled it a “variant of concern” (VOC) on May 11.

The British epidemiologist Neil Ferguson believes that delta is about 60% more infectious than alpha, which was previously the predominant variant in the UK and, in its turn, is more easily passed on than the ancestral variant that caused the first pandemic wave of spring 2020.

The number of COVID-19 cases in the UK seems to back this up. From the start of June, the number of infections began climbing rapidly once more, and the country is now reporting some 15,000 or more new infections every day. This rise is going hand-in-hand with the increasing spread of the delta variant.

Data from Public Health England (PHE), an executive agency of the UK’s department of health, indicates that more than 90% of new COVID-19 cases in the UK are from the delta variant.

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