Fully vaccinated? Still keep wearing masks, urges WHO

WHO advised this to contain the spreading of the more virulent Delta variant of the corona virus

COVID-19
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The World Health Organisation (WHO) has asked people who are fully vaccinated to follow all COVID safety protocols to contain the spread of the more deadly and globally-spreading Delta variant.

Mariangela Simao, WHO assistant director-general for access to medicines and health products, said people cannot feel safe just because they had the two doses and that they still need to protect themselves.

“Vaccine alone won’t stop community transmission. People need to continue to use masks consistently, be in ventilated spaces, hand hygiene … the physical distance, avoid crowding,” Simao said during a news briefing from the agency’s Geneva headquarters.

“This still continues to be extremely important, even if you’re vaccinated when you have a community transmission ongoing,” she added.

CNBC reported that WHO officials said they are urging fully vaccinated people to avoid reckless behaviour and stay safe since highly contagious variants, like Delta, are spreading in many countries and triggering outbreaks. A large part of the world is yet to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

Also read: Not loss of smell: COVID Delta variant throws up new symptoms

Dr Bruce Aylward, a senior advisor to the WHO director-general, told CNBC, “Yes, you can reduce some measures and different countries have different recommendations in that regard. But there’s still the need for caution. As we are seeing, there are new variants emerging.”

WHO’s director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, on June 25, that the Delta variant, first seen in India, is ‘the most transmissible of the variants identified so far, and warned it is now spreading in at least 85 countries. Ghebreyesus said the lack of vaccines in poor countries was exacerbating the delta variant’s transmission.

India reported 51 cases of Delta Plus, the more virulent version of the virus, from 12 states with Maharashtra having the most.

The government, however, has said their numbers are ‘very localised’ and it cannot be said that it is showing an upward trend. Officials have said that the Delta variant has nearly 15-17 mutations and was first reported in October last year, and it was responsible for more than 60 per cent of cases in Maharashtra in February.

Also read: Explained: Why Delta Plus may trigger the dreaded COVID third wave

The Delta Plus sub-lineage of the Delta variant can spike proteins. It acquired this ability because of a mutation found in it called K417N.

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