“The Delta variant is one of the most important variants affecting public health“, Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology Specialist Dr. Nesil Bayraktar said.
Dr Bayrakter said that there was no research and development laboratory in North Cyprus that could test for the Delta variant, so samples taken 3-4 weeks ago had been sent to France and come back positive. She said that therefore, it was safe to assume that the Delta variant had been present in the country around one month ago.
Delta Variant More Contagious
Bayraktar said, “The main problem here is that the contagiousness of the virus has increased even more”, and stated that the Delta variant is 60 percent more contagious than the British variant, and therefore the number of infections has increased in North Cyprus as well as worldwide.
When asked if the Delta variant was more deadly, she said.
“The main symptoms are a runny nose, cold or sore throat. However, it has been reported that it causes hearing loss, although not at a very high rate. Since it can pass through the cells more easily, it can reach the lungs faster. It is thought to be more lethal, but this is not clear yet, we are waiting for the data to be published by the authorities. But we can say that it is stronger than any mutation so far. We are not sure if there is a serious course of cases that will cause loss of life in the country, so we learn the figures from the ministry”.
Effectiveness of Sinovac Against Delta Variant
Dr Bayraktar said that there is no certainty about the effectiveness of Sinovac against the Delta variant,
“There are studies on the effects of Pfizer-Biontech, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines on the Delta variant. But there is not enough data on the Sinovac vaccine. It reduces the effectiveness of the other three vaccines except Sinovac. But there is no clear information about Sinovac. However, we can make the following deduction; It reduces the effectiveness rates of all vaccines”, she said.
Bayraktar also emphasised that the decrease in the effectiveness rates of the vaccines against the Delta variant does not mean that vaccines give no protection. “Vaccines allow us to have mild symptoms despite getting the virus. It prevents us from coming to the point of intensive care. The claim that vaccines do not protect us is not entirely true“, she said.