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DELTA VARIANT GAINS GLOBAL DOMINANCE

WITH guerrilla warfare tactics, it started so quietly but deeply rooting its foundations in the soils of India. This was around December 2020 when most of the headlines were coming from Brazil that was having its toll from the merciless Gamma variant.

In Zambia, South Africa the Beta variant was also gaining foot, so was the Alpha one in the Europe and America claiming many lives. These other variants seem to have run their course, left untold suffering and devastation and then happened to quieten down a bit.

It was at this point that the deadly Delta variant also known as B.1.617.2 was expanding and slowly gaining the recognition it deserves. Without viewer discretion it showed us its mercilessness in the thousands of bodies that were burning on the streets of India because cremation sites were full.

Hospitals had been overwhelmed, nowhere to admit new patients, people were left to die either at home or on the way back home after being sent away from the hospital.

The Delta variant is now gaining global dominance. The World Health Organisation says the variant had been detected in more than 80 countries and it continues to mutate as it spreads.

EUROPE STARTING TO FEEL THE HEAT

There is currently a worrying spike of coronavirus infections in Europe being driven by the delta variant, according to global health leaders, even as immunisation rates in some countries are on the way up.

The U.K. and Portugal have forced officials to reimplement lockdown restrictions or hold off on lifting pandemic mandates. Officials in France, Germany and Spain said they are closely monitoring clusters of infection tied to the delta variant.

It is now “well on its way to becoming the dominant variant globally because of its increased transmissibility,” Soumya Swaminathan, the World Health Organisation’s chief scientist is quoted to have said recently.

A delay in lifting lockdown restrictions

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced last week a delay in plans to lift the final elements of the nation’s lockdown restrictions, citing “a faster than predicted” spread of the variant. He said restrictions on businesses and large events will remain in place until July 19.

In the U.K. data shows 99 percent of sequenced and genotyped confirmed coronavirus cases across the country are the delta variant, according to public health England.

the government’s weekly data as of June 18 showed numbers of the delta variant in the U.K. have risen by 33, 630 from the previous week to 75, 953.

This comes despite the nation’s high immunisation rate, with about 60 percent of the adult population fully vaccinated from the coronavirus. a reported 81.6 percent of the adult population have received one dose, according to government data.

Dr. Jenny Harries, chief executive of U.K. health security agency, said in a statement, “the increase is primarily in younger age groups, a large proportion of which were unvaccinated but are now being invited to receive the vaccine.”

The two vaccines that have shown to be more effective against the delta variant so far are the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

Authorities in Portugal banned all weekend travel in and out of Lisbon, the capital, to cut down on any further spread of the virus to other parts of the country. Portugal’s national health institute reported that the delta variant is shown to be in at least 60 percent of new cases in Lisbon.

SOME UNIQUE SYMPTOMS OF THE DELTA VARIANT

Most people are familiar by now with the most common symptoms of Covid-19. However it has since been noted that the Covid-19 caused by the Delta variant seems to present with some extra unique symptoms.

Throughout the pandemic the main symptoms of Covid-19 are a fever, persistent cough and loss of taste or smell. The CDC’s updated list of symptoms, for example, includes fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, a sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting and diarrhea as possible symptoms of infection.

But the delta variant appears to be provoking a different range of symptoms, according to experts.

Tim Spector, a professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London, runs the Zoe Covid Symptom study, an ongoing U.K.-based study which enables the public to enter their Covid symptoms on an app when enables scientists to then analyze the data.

“Covid is also acting differently now.  It’s more like a bad cold in this younger population and people don’t realise that and that hasn’t come across in any of the government information.” 

“Since the start of May, we have been looking at the top symptoms in the app users and they are not the same as they were,” he said.

“The number one symptom is headache, then followed by sore throat, runny nose and fever.” More “traditional” Covid symptoms such as a cough and loss of smell were much rarer now he said, with younger people experiencing much more of a bad cold or “funny off feeling.”

I have personally noticed another strange symptom which other doctors I work with in the Covid Center like Dr Mulambia also have. We are noticing most patients complaining of extreme cold despite how warm the surrounding may be. And more so most are showing a tendency to bleed easily even when not on anticoagulants.

Zambia is choking, the townships have been invaded

Yesterday while driving from work at the National Heart Hospital (NHH) near Kenneth Kaunda International Airport, I gave a lift to an elderly lady who was also going home in Kalingalinga. She had been stranded. (Please note this is not safe as we know people are attacked and killed for doing this, but I had weighed my options well).

As we were driving I asked where she was coming from, she said Ibex Hill and then where she was going she said “Kalingalinga” a township. When she said this, I said “wow you are lucky you live in one of the places where there is no corona.” The common notion in the townships is that Covid-19 is not real.

She said “what, can’t you see the way people are dying?” My neighbours have died in strange circumstances, they just collapse and die.”

She continued:   “so there are a lot of funerals right now, house after house.”

Then she said “corona is real please keep yourself safe.”

I had not told her where I was coming from and that I was just from attending to some people gasping for air as if someone or something was   chocking them. Yes, something was and is choking many people and may choke the whole nation. The deadly Delta variant.

Honestly, if by this time, someone still doubts Covid-19 is real in Zambia, despite all these  infections and deaths, then I think they should doubt their very own existence as well.

ON A SAD NOTE WE MOURN THE UNTIMELTY DEATH OF A YOUNG FRONTLINE DOCTOR, DR MULWANDA.  CONDOLESCES TO THE FAMILY.MHSRIEP

ONE ZAMBIA, ONE NATION, ONE LOVE.

UNTIL THEN, ALUTA CONTINUA, THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES.

PLEASE MASK UP PROPERLY. IF YOUR MASK IS NOT COVERING YOUR NOSE, PLEASE THROW IT AWAY. (DR. MASUWA –  2021);

OBSERVE HAND HYGIENE;

OBSERVE REASONABLE PHYSICAL DISTANCE, PLEASE THIS IS NO TIME FOR CLUBS AND PARTIES.

AND BECAUSE YOU CARE, PLEASE KINDLY SHARE.

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