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Fear grows that delta variant will become dominant COVID strain

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Fears are growing over a probable Delta Variant Wave after three travellers were detected positive of the highly contagious and dangerous variant and tests on over thirty people are underway.

While local authorities say the three positive people are not connected, Dr Fazil Khodabocus, Regional Public Health Superintendent (RPHS) at the Ministry of Health, said the variant was detected at a time when a high percentage of the population is already vaccinated.

“This can reduce the impact of the virus in Mauritius, in addition to barrier gestures,” he told Defi Media.

However, Dr Shameem Jaumdally, a Mauritian virologist working in South Africa, warned that the Delta variant could spread across Mauritius until December and might even become the dominant variant.

“To prevent this from happening, bold strategies are required, such as limiting social activities and reinforcing the restrictions on the number of people attending these activities. Even those who got the jab can be infected with this variant,” he claimed.

The opinion is shared by Houriiya Tegally, a Mauritian doctoral student in Bioinformatics and Virology at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. For her, it was inevitable that this virus arrived in Mauritius. “Besides being more contagious, the variant will affect vulnerable people and seniors the most. I also expect a surge in the cases in the coming weeks,” she said.

The Leader of the Opposition Xavier- Luc Duval has claimed that official COVID-19 figures of the Ministry of Health do not reflect the reality: “The government is lying in order to attract tourists and people have let their guard down.

Labour MP Farhad Aumeer deplored that the government launched the third booster jab campaign without preliminary studies around the vaccine mix. He criticised the lack of scientific data around the need for a third dose and expressed concerns “as to whether the mix is really safe for the population.”

Those who were jabbed with Sinopharm and Covashield are being called to get a single dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine, especially if they need to travel to Europe.

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