US President Joe Biden, his advisor Anthony Fauci warn against COVID Delta variant

US President Joe Biden

Washington: US President Joe Biden and his Chief Advisor Dr Anthony Fauci have warned that the Delta variant of the novel coronavirus is highly infectious, which is now the dominant strain in the United Kingdom, spreading rapidly among young people between 12 and 20 years old.

The Delta variant of COVID-19, or the B1.617.2 was first detected in India in October and has spread to 62 countries, the World Health Organisation said recently.

"Folks, the Delta variant - a highly infectious COVID-19 strain - is spreading rapidly among young people between 12 and 20 years old in the UK. If you're young and haven't gotten your shot yet, it really is time. It's the best way to protect yourself and those you love," Biden tweeted on Tuesday.

Dr Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), said the Delta variant accounts for more than 6 per cent of the cases being sequenced in the US. The actual number is likely higher, as the US is running the genetic sequence on a fraction of cases.

The variant has become the dominant strain in the UK, accounting for an estimated 60 per cent of new cases. It's now more prevalent than the Alpha strain, formerly called the B.1.1.7 strain, which was first identified in the UK, and transmission is peaking in people between the ages of 12 and 20, Dr. Fauci said at a press briefing on Tuesday.

"In the UK, the Delta variant is rapidly emerging as the dominant variant ... It is replacing the B.1.1.7," Fauci said. "We cannot let that happen in the United States," he told CNBC.

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The Biden administration on Thursday announced it would invest more than $3 billion from the American Rescue Plan to accelerate the discovery, development and manufacturing of Covid-19 antiviral medicines -- ideally like a pill someone could easily take at home early in an illness.

The more transmissible Delta COVID-19 variant has delayed reopening plans in the United Kingdom and raised concern in Canada, as cases have been identified in all 10 provinces and one territory.

Cases of the Delta variant of coronavirus first identified in India are estimated to be doubling every four and a half days in parts of England new data suggests.

The Delta variant of Covid-19, first identified in India, has been detected in 74 countries and continues to spread rapidly amid fears that it is poised to become the dominant strain worldwide.

The Delta strain of coronavirus should be renamed the ‘Johnson variant’ because of the Prime Minister’s ‘lax’ border measures, Labour has said.

The Biden administration on Thursday announced a plan to share the first 25 million Covid-19 vaccine doses with the rest of the world and an overall framework of distributing at least 80 million doses by the end of June.

The Delta variant of COVID-19, or the B1.617.2 variant first identified in India, is around 40 per cent more transmissible than the Alpha or so-called Kent variant of concern (VOC), UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Sunday.