Russia: “Moscow” #coronavirus variant – 1,705 new patients, 468 on ventilators, 71 deaths in one city in one day

Moscow has documented 6,805 new COVID-19 cases on June 15. A total of 1,705 people have been hospitalized over the past day. There are 468 people hooked up to ventilators currently, and 71 patients have died in the past 24 hours.

Denis Protsenko, the head of Moscow’s top coronavirus hospital, has revealed that his facility is being hit harder than ever before, with the number of patients on ventilators now beating the record for any other time during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This is a new illness with new scenarios. We see that the incubation period has become shorter: before, it lasted seven to nine days, and now it is only four or five. The clinical picture has not changed much, but we see that there are patients that do not respond to standard treatment methods of complications caused by the coronavirus,” the chief physician said.

Protsenko said that Moscow has not reached peak COVID-19 figures so far. “I wish we were at the peak now. But miracles don’t exist,” he said.

Tass.com report

 

 

Russia: “Moscow” #coronavirus variant strain announced

 

 

Photo by Jean Colet on Unsplash

 

UK: massive rise in Delta #coronavirus vaccine breakthrough cases

“There are currently 1,917 new daily symptomatic cases of COVID in vaccinated people, an increase of 89% from 1,014 cases, compared to 9,991 new daily symptomatic cases in unvaccinated people. “

ZOE Study (with heavy padding removed)

 

**Coming soon**  15 months of unrelenting censorship of this blog and our Twitter feed. Don’t miss it!

 

UK: Delta variant is more infectious than the Alpha variant despite vaccinations

 

Preprint: vaccine breakthrough #coronavirus infections may be common in transplant patients

 

Massachusetts: more than 4,300 #coronavirus breakthrough cases reported – up 28% in a week

UK: What happens after June 21st 2021 – Britain’s #coronavirus “Freedom Day”?

By Step 4 which will take place no earlier than 21 June, the UK government hopes to be in a position to remove all legal limits on social contact. We hope to reopen remaining premises, including nightclubs, and ease the restrictions on large events and performances that apply in Step 3.

UK COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021

 

Prague COVID-19 Response – July 2020:

 

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”

 

#Czech hospitals in #coronavirus crisis “Each vacated bed fills up immediately”

Preprint: Prevalent evidence of #coronavirus variant B.1.617.2 Delta in post-vaccinated individuals in India

“We sequenced all samples of vaccination-breakthrough cases at NCDC, Delhi, over the period of the study. Two VOC lineages were seen amongst 27 cases: B.1.617.1 (n=2; 8%), B.1.617.2  (n=19; 76%). Other samples had the background B.1 lineages (16%).

It is noted that when compared to population prevalence, B.1.617.2 was over-represented and B.1.1.7 was not even detected in vaccination breakthroughs, suggesting higher breakthrough risk of B.1.617.2 compared to B.1.1.7.”

Preprint: Genomic characterization and Epidemiology of an emerging SARS-CoV-2 variant in Delhi, India

 

UK: government risk assessment of #coronavirus Delta variant B.1.617.2 – evidence of frequent vaccine failure or decreased effectiveness in humans 

 

Image by confused_me from Pixabay

 

UK: government risk assessment of #coronavirus Delta variant B.1.617.2 – evidence of frequent vaccine failure or decreased effectiveness in humans * UPDATED *

  • UPDATED IMAGE ABOVE
  • * UK risk assessment for Delta variant as per 10th June 2021

 

Previous UK risk assessment as per 3rd June 2021

The UK government risk assessment for B.1.617.2 Delta variant has been published today and it’s NOT good news.

  • Transmissibilty between humans = Transmissibility appears greater than the wild type virus
  • Infection severity = More severe clinical picture or higher infection fatality than from wild type SARS-CoV-2 infections 
  • Immunity after natural infection = Experimental evidence of functional evasion of naturally acquired immunity 
  • Vaccines = Evidence of frequent vaccine failure or decreased effectiveness in humans 

Epidemiological and laboratory evidence of reduced vaccine effectiveness There are now analyses from England and Scotland supporting a reduction in vaccine effectiveness for Delta compared to Alpha [B.1.1.7]. This is more pronounced after one dose (absolute reduction in vaccine effectiveness against symptomatic infection of approximately 15-20% after 1 dose). Iterated analysis continues to show vaccine effectiveness against Delta is higher after 2 doses but that there is a reduction for Delta compared to Alpha. There is a high level of uncertainty around the magnitude of the change in vaccine effectiveness after 2 doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

Although this is observational data subject to some biases, it holds true across several analytic approaches and the same effect is seen in both English and Scottish data. It is strongly supported by pseudovirus and live virus neutralisation data from multiple laboratories. There are no data on whether prevention of transmission is affected and insufficient data to assess vaccine effectiveness against severe disease. The acquisition of an additional mutation which may be antigenically significant in a small number of cases is noted.

Overall assessment: Delta [B.1.617.2] is predominant and all analyses find that it has a very substantial growth advantage. The observed high growth rate is most likely to  be due to a combination of place based context, transmissibility and immune escape. Both English and Scottish analyses continue to support the finding of reduced vaccine effectiveness which has increased to high confidence. New early data from England and Scotland suggest a possible increased risk of hospitalisation compared to Alpha. The priority investigations are vaccine effectiveness against hospitalisation and transmission, household secondary attack rate corrected for vaccination, characterisation of the generation time, viral load and period of infectivity, and epidemiological studies of reinfections.

Download the report here: Investigation of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern: variant risk assessments

 

India: The stunning rise of the B.1.617.2 [Delta] #coronavirus variant

Portugal: could be taken off the UK’s #coronavirus travel green list for having the same infection trajectory as the UK

“UK government Ministers and their medical advisers will meet on Thursday to decide whether Portugal should be dropped from the green list and instead rated amber, requiring holidaymakers to quarantine for 10 days on their return and pay for two PCR tests.  Scientists from the Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC) are concerned about rising infection rates and the emergence of variants in Portugal, which was the first of 12 countries and territories to be rated green just three weeks ago.”

The Telegraph.co.uk report

 

UK: PHE data shows B.1.617.2 now outcompetes B.1.1.7

 

Chart courtesy of Ourworldindata.org

Preprint: B.1.617 #coronavirus variants show enhanced spike cleavage by furin

“The spike (S) glycoprotein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that emerged in 2019 contained a suboptimal furin cleavage site at the S1/S2 junction with the sequence 681 PRRAR/S 686.  This cleavage site is required for efficient airway replication, transmission, and pathogenicity of the virus. …P681R significantly enhanced the ability of furin to cleave the peptide confirming that the arginine substitution is responsible for the enhanced cleavage of the B.1.617 S protein.

We speculate that enhanced S1/S2 cleavage seen in B.1.617 and B.1.1.7 [Alpha variant] (which contains P681H) may be contributing to the enhanced transmissibility of these SARS-CoV-2 variants.”

Biorxiv Preprint “The SARS-CoV-2 variants associated with infections in India, B.1.617, show enhanced spike cleavage by furin

 

WHO: Newly designated VOC within lineage B.1.617 – update on Delta #coronavirus variant

 

 

Photo by Abby Savage on Unsplash

 

WHO announce new names for Sars-CoV-2 #coronavirus variants

The WHO have announced new names for the confusingly named sars-cov-2 variants. The new names are based on the Greek alphabet.

Variants of Concern = Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta

 

Variants of Interest = Epsilon, Zeta, Eta, Theta, Iota, Kappa

 

WHO introduces new naming system for Sars-CoV-2 variants based on Greek alphabet –  Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon, Zeta, Eta, Theta, Iota, Kappa etc

Vietnam: recombinant/hybrid #coronavirus announced – B.1.617.2 Delta variant with Y144 mutation from B.1.1.7 Alpha variant

Vietnam has detected a coronavirus hybrid variant with characteristics from the existing B16172 Delta variant and B117 Alpha variant, the Ministry of Health announced Saturday. Minister Nguyen Thanh Long said a new coronavirus variant has recently been detected in Vietnam with characteristics from both the Alpha and the Delta variants. More specifically, it is a Delta variant B.1.617.2 with mutations that originally belong to the Alpha variant B.1.1.7.

Laboratory cultures of the new variant, which is much more transmissible than the previously known types, revealed that the virus replicated itself very quickly, explaining why so many new cases appeared in different locations in a short period, Long was quoted as saying.

VNExpress.net report

More…

According to the Central Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, the results of viral gene sequencing of 32 Covid-19 patient samples, detected 4 samples infected with the Delta B16172 strain but carrying a gene mutation of the Alpha B117 strain.

“We found that there is a Y144 deletion mutation on the S protein of the virus B.1.617.2 (first detected in India). This mutation is similar to the mutation detected on variant B.1.1.7 (first detected in the UK)”, Professor Le Thi Quynh Mai, Deputy Director of the Central Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, said on the evening of May 29.

Up to now, Vietnam has recorded a total of 7 strains of nCoV, including: B.1.222, B.1.619, D614G, B.1.1.7 (Alpha variant), B.1.351, A.23.1 and B.1.617.2 (Delta variant).

VnExpress.net report

 

Vietnam: No new hybrid #coronavirus strain detected in Vietnam says WHO

 

 

Vietnam: Young #coronavirus patients with no underlying health conditions have ‘white lungs after a few days of Covid-19 symptoms’

 

Vietnam: first case of #coronavirus variant B.1.617.2 found in Ho Chi Minh City