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Delta confirmed as predominant COVID-19 variant in Peru

18:01 | Lima, Sep. 22.

Delta has become the predominant variant in Peru, displacing Lambda and Gamma, whose cases have reduced in the past weeks, according to Lely Solari, infectious disease specialist at the National Health Institute (INS).

The expert explained that, to date, Metropolitan Lima and Callao —mainly the latter— have more than a 70% prevalence of the Delta variant, which is characterized by its rapid transmission in people.

"It is also present in Junin and Ica. Unfortunately, in recent weeks, an important source of infection has been identified in the north: in Tumbes, Piura, Lambayeque, and La Libertad, with a proportion of the circulating Delta variant at over 55%. In total, it is present in 22 out of the 25 regions across the country," Solari stated. 

According to the infectious disease specialist, at the epidemiological level, "this was a visible bad omen. Important third and fourth waves have been recorded in countries where Delta has been the predominant variant, depending on the country." 

Based on the evidence, she added, the Delta variant has caused not only infections but also deaths among unvaccinated people.

Solari recalled that this is a much more contagious variant, that is to say, one person infected with the Delta variant can infect between 5 and 8 people, which is the highest number recorded so far.

COVID-19 vaccine, top priority

In the face of a third wave in the country, the medical practitioner urged the population to get vaccinated as soon as possible and make sure they receive the second dose of the jab.

"We know that this variant can reduce effectiveness of most vaccines; therefore, we could get infected even if we were vaccinated. However, the good news is that the vaccines are highly effective in reducing severe disease and death," she explained.

"We need to continue with the face masks and the measures we have always commented on," the expert remarked.

(END) KGR/RRC/RMB/MVB

Published: 9/22/2021
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