The fourth wave of Covid-19 infections here in South Korea and around world fueled by the Delta variant and the emergence of the new Delta Plus in this country today.
I want to bring in Dr. Alice Tan, Internist at MizMedi Women's Hospital for some expert's view.
Dr. Tan, thanks for joining us tonight.
First, I want to talk about this new wave of COVID-19 infections fueled by the Delta variant striking countries worldwide. I think it's pretty certain by now that it's definitely a lot more transmissible/contagious than the original form of coronavirus.
So, the question now is: does the Delta variant - mainly the unvaccinated - make people more ill than before?
According to a report by the CDC, Delta is as contagious as chickenpox and far more contagious than the common cold or flu. It's spreading like wildfire in many countries worldwide. How effective are the Covid-19 vaccines in the market today against the Delta variant? Would we need a third booster shot and will that be enough or would we need a completely new vaccine?
As authorities here scramble to curb the fourth wave fueled by the Delta varius, the nation today announced that the Delta Plus, a new variant of the coronavirus which had been reported in about a handful of countries including the UK, Portugal and India has been identified in South Korea.
What do we know about this Delta Plus variant so far?
The KDCA confirmed earlier today that one of the patients with no history of travel or contact with travelers got infected with Delta Plus which suggests the variant may have begun to spread in South Korea through community spread. What are your thoughts and what would this mean for South Korea's battle against Covid-19?
Both patients confirmed with the Delta Plus had been fully vaccinated with AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine - so all two doses - having had the second dose over two weeks prior to the time of their confirmation with the Delta Plus variant. That means these are 'breakthrough infections.'
It's raising concerns that new strains of Sars-CoV-2 including this Delta Plus may evade some vaccines.
Do we know which vaccines are more effective against the Delta and Delta Plus variants?
As a medical expert, what would you recommend to South Korea and the authorities here as we scramble to contain the fourth wave driven by the Delta variant as well as the emergence of new variants like the Delta Plus?
Dr. Alice Tan on the Delta variant that's already become the dominant strain in many countries, including South Korea now, and the emergence of Delta Plus in this country.
Thank you, Dr. Tan.