The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Friday that the Delta variant has increased the number of new COVID-19 infections by 80 percent in five regions including Africa over the last four weeks, warning that any hard-won progress in battle against the virus is put at risk or goes down the drain. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also reported on Friday that the Delta variant, as contagious as smallpox, deals a more critical blow to humans, signaling a new front in war against the coronavirus.
Research argues that the Delta variant copies the virus quickly as it has a certain mutant quality that allows COVID-19 to land on human cell membranes easily, pointing out that as it spreads more quickly than the common cold virus or poliovirus, senior citizens and people with underlying diseases are more fragile to infection than the rest population. One of the biggest concerns is a vaccine breakthrough infection – a case infected even after vaccinated. Out of 162 million U.S. citizens vaccinated, as many as 35,000 breakthrough infections occur every week.
Wearing a face mask is the best preventive measure to take as recommended by many governments across the globe as part of efforts to survive the Delta variant. Florida, where citizens are not required to wear a face mask, saw 21,000 new infections on Friday alone. The CDC updated the COVID-19 guidelines to advise people in regions with high infection rates to wear face masks in indoor public spaces. With bad signs of the spread of the Delta variant, Israel restored its policy of requiring citizens to wear face masks indoors on June 26.
Some experts say that the coronavirus will never end. British scientists are quoted by the Guardian as saying, “We won’t see Covid-19 spread like wildfire again. There will be enough herd immunity in the population to ensure it will never kick off like that again,” adding, “We will have waves of illness similar to flu, I think. And they will kill.” They warn that the coronavirus can take thousands or tens of thousands of people’s lives every year just as around 20,000 people die due to influenza in Britain every year. This means that the coronavirus may still be part of our life. Then, the key point is that we all are supposed to get vaccinated. As the 1st dose vaccination rate of South Korea is 37.9 percent while the 2nd one is 13.9 percent, we have a long way to go.
In just 11 days when the number of COVID-19 patients in critical condition exceeded 200 domestically in Korea amid the spread of the Delta variant, the total figure reached 317 as of Saturday. Confirmed cases who are in their 40s, not vaccinated, take up a larger share (15.4 percent) among those in critical condition than patients in their 70s or 80s. The vaccination reservation system is supposed to be fully prepared to make sure that citizens in their 40s and below make seamless reservations for vaccines starting from next Monday. At the same time, efforts should be put into supplying jabs and accelerating the vaccination process. As it is the basic quarantine rule to wear masks as reintroduced by governments across the world, it is time to cool down and go back to the basics.