Is SARS-CoV-2 Evolving to be More Lethal ? What is Delta variant?


Wave particularly means the rising and declining of infections in certain area. We had seen first wave in September, 2020. But the second wave was much more furious than the previous first wave. Health authorities failed to prepare adequately for the second wave. This lack of preparation and neglecting Covid-19 protocols were the main reasons of second wave. But third wave is “inevitable” as per Principal Scientific Advisor K VijayRaghavan. Already there is a fresh surge in several parts of the country like Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra. Local administration and hospitals already started ramping up their infrastructure.

Already there were several waves in different parts of the country. But the national curve is again rising and most likely the third wave will hit by mid of September. After second wave if there is a fresh surge and if it continues for a few weeks or months, then it will get classified as third wave. Theoretically third wave would be more severe then second wave. But practically that will not be the case. Because in first and second wave the virus spread rapidly because the entire population was new. But during third wave several people will be vaccinated and many other will develop immunity. But this logic was not appropriate in India as the second wave was much more devastating than the first. People learned a lesson from that and now scientists are warning that the third wave will be much more devastating than the second. Positivity rate of infection in second was almost four times than that of the first wave.

Also, gene mutations of the virus is one of the major concerns. It can alter all the calculations. Mutated virus can easily break out the immune responses developed in the infected people and the vaccinated people. Like, presently in India a new variant of SARS COV2 virus is seen, it is named Delta variant. Delta Variant is the most talked-about variant in recent months. It was first detected in India and now it has surpassed all the other variants of the virus in terms of the number of recent infections. As per world health organization it is a “variant of global concern”. The main reason for its long-term prevalence is its ability to mutate.

Variants are new versions of the same virus. It mainly evolves from viral recombination. Mutations actually gives the virus an increased chance of survival. But the delta variant doubles the risk of hospitalization in comparison to people infected with the Alpha variant. Delta variant is fifty per cent more transmissible than the Alpha variant. It is seen that two doses of vaccines are effective at preventing hospitalization and death from delta variant. But in this case the nasal vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech will be a game changer. The vaccine will strengthen the body’s immune response against the virus. Although, several pharma companies had come up with a third booster shot for delta variant but obviously nasal vaccines are priority.

We can say most of us now have developed hard immunity, either because of infection or vaccination. As per doctor’s opinion this virus will stay with us and will become an epidemic gradually which will not harm because everybody will develop antibody. Effectiveness of different vaccine will be reduced. That’s why a third booster dose is necessary. As per Ministry of Health and Family Welfare India inoculated 1,00,64,032 doses on Friday. It is country’s highest single-day count so far. In Maharashtra and Kerala there will be night curfews as cases of Covid-19 is rising high. Schools from standard 9 to 12, colleges and institutions will reopen after a prolonged time of closure.

Everything is coming towards normalcy but still there is a fear of third wave, which is inevitable.

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