Health experts have warned the Delta variant, Coronavirus strain which originated from India, could spread in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).
Despite all the precautions and safety measures by the KP government, the Delta variant has made its way to the province after it was identified in swab samples collected randomly at the Bacha Khan Airport from passengers traveling from the UK.
National Institute of Health (NIH) Islamabad confirmed two cases from the random sampling in inbound passengers from the UK. KP’s health department traced and quarantined the two confirmed subjects and their close contacts.
However, health experts are of the view that the Delta variant could rear its head in the province as it is 20% more transmissible and reduces the efficacy of antibodies by 50%.
They have also warned that although Delta variant cases confirmed in the province have been traced back to the passengers coming from the UK, inbound passengers from Gulf countries also pose a serious threat of transmission of Delta variant into the province.
They have also called on both federal and provincial governments to step up vaccination efforts to prevent new variants from entering the province.
The Delta variant was first detected in India in October 2020. Until last week, 80 countries have reported cases of the strain. The Delta variant has also been confirmed in all countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
None of the approved vaccines offer complete protection against the Delta variant. This is why vaccinated people can still contract the Delta variant. However, the chances are they will get very mild symptoms or no symptoms at all, and that the chances of them getting seriously ill are extremely low.