Red and dark red zones are on the rise in Europe due to the spread of the Delta variant, the coronavirus mutation that has now become the dominant strain in much of the Old Continent. In the most recent update of the ECDC – the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control – the map with the colors of the European Union countries was published. The map classifies the areas with greater or lesser danger of the spread of the coronavirus and this week records an increase in infections and red areas.
The red zone map for the Delta variant
Compared to the previous report, the red and dark red areas have increased. In red are Portugal, Spain, Ireland, parts of the Netherlands, Greek islands and regions, Corsica. In the last two weeks, these areas have had an increase in infections of between 75 and 200 cases per 100 thousand inhabitants and a positivity rate of more than 4%, or infections between 200 and 500 per 100 thousand people. There is also an increase in the dark red areas, where the situation is getting worse: Cyprus, Crete, some areas of Spain and the Netherlands. Here the color indicates an increase in infections of over 500 per 100 thousand inhabitants. Even in France the situation is more serious than the last update two weeks ago. As the map shows, almost the entire country is now in the orange zone.
The Delta variant in Italy: 4 regions in the orange zone
The situation in Italy also changes on the ECDC map. Two weeks ago all the areas were in green, while now Sicily, Sardinia, Lazio and Veneto are in the orange area. It means that the infections are less than 50 per 100 thousand inhabitants, but with a positivity rate greater than 4%, or that the infections are between 50 and 75 with a rate of at least 1%, or even that the infections are between 75 and 200 and the positivity rate is less than 4%.
Surveillance data reported in the ECDC report shows that between June 28 and July 11 the Delta variant was dominant in most (19) of the 28 countries that reported sufficiently complete genetic sequencing. In these 19 countries, the proportion of the Delta variant in sequenced tests was 68.3%, surpassing the previously dominant Alpha variant (22.3%) across the region. Based on current trends, the Delta variant will be the dominant strain globally in the coming months and has already been identified in almost all European countries. It will continue to spread, displacing the circulation of other variants, unless a new, more “competitive” one emerges, write the World Health Organization and the ECDC.