Thailand vaccination
Photo: Bangkok Post

Delta Plus subvariant may be 15% more contagious but still not a “virus of concern”, expert says

Citing preliminary studies, the Delta Plus coronavirus subvariant could be up to 15% more contagious than the original Delta strain according to Dr. Chalermchai Boonyateephan, vice chairman of the Thai Senate health committee.

In a report from Thai PBS, Dr. Boonyaleephan says that in the UK, 6% of new infections have shown the presence of the Delta Plus subvariant. Nonetheless, the subvariant remains a “variant under investigation” rather than a “variant of concern” since the information is still inadequate regarding its possible severity, Dr. Boonyaleephan clarified.

He also mentioned that the Delta Plus alone cannot be the cause of the recent Covid spike in the UK as several other subvariants were also detected, including the original Delta strain. The ease of restrictions and relaxed attitude towards the pandemic can also be potential contributors to the surge, added by Dr. Boonyaleephan.

Anticipating the public anxiety regarding the detection of the subvariant in Thailand, the government quickly stepped in to give the public the assurance that the said subvariant of the Delta strain is not a major concern at the moment. Dr. Chawetsan Namwat, director of the Division of Disease Control and Emergency Health Hazards, said that the World Health Organization (WHO) has not upgraded the Delta Plus category to “virus of concern” yet.

The government experts noted that the four subvariants found in Thailand recently are not capable of causing symptoms that are more serious than the original Delta strain.

Nevertheless, they still advise the public to continue to adhere to the WHO and Thai government anti-Covid measures to avoid another possible surge of Covid in the country.

Source: Thai PBS