Russian authorities to investigate after reports emerge of country’s first detected case of new ‘Delta Plus’ Covid-19 strain
The news of Russia’s first recorded incident was revealed by Darya Danilenko, the deputy director of the Smorodintsev Research Institute of Influenza, who told Saint Petersburg newspaper Fontanka that there is no reason to believe Delta Plus is more dangerous or lethal than other known strains.
“The case is unique and most likely imported,” Danilenko explained, noting that other cases have been recorded in the US and the UK. Worldwide, around 200 infections have been found in 11 countries.
However, according to health watchdog Rospotrebnadzor, the Delta Plus case has not been scientifically confirmed.
On Wednesday, Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova told the government that Delta Plus was yet to be detected in Russia.Also on rt.com Two Far Eastern Russian cities SUSPEND Covid-19 vaccinations, with demand for doses soaring as country fights spike in new cases
Delta Plus is a slightly changed version of the Delta strain of Covid-19, originally known as the Indian variant. According to the Indian health ministry, it spreads more easily than other coronavirus variants and binds more efficiently to lung cells.
According to Anatoly Altstein, chief researcher at the Gamaleya National Research Center, the Delta strain itself is more dangerous than others, and vaccines are less effective against it. Gamaleya is the institution where the Russian Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine was invented.
“We expect that the vaccine will reduce the number of people who end up in the hospital, reduce the number of severe illnesses and deaths, but it will not be as effective as with the previous strain,” Altstein said.
On Friday, Russia reported 20,393 daily Covid-19 cases, meaning 5,409,088 people have now been infected in the entire country. In recent weeks, the number of confirmed cases in the country has risen significantly, leading to certain regions enforcing brand new restrictions in an attempt to slow the spread.
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