With 26% of cases, Italy ranks fifth in the world among the countries in which the circulation of the Delta variant is greater. This is the estimate published by the Financial Times on the basis of the genetic sequences of the virus deposited in the international database of genetic data Gisaid and data from the Belgian research institute Sciensano. Estimates also indicate that the Delta variant is dominant in Great Britain and Portugal, where the concentration is 98% and 96%, respectively. The United States follows with 31%, then Italy (26%), Belgium (16%), Germany (15%), France (6.9%).
The analysis of the Financial Times also indicates that in Great Britain, Portugal and Russia the increase in the diffusion of the Delta variant corresponds to a progressive decrease in the circulation of the Alfa variant. This trend is not yet present in the United States, Italy, Belgium and Germany, where the Alfa variant still seems to be the decidedly dominant one.
Obtaining the greatest number of genetic sequences of the virus is essential to be able to follow the spread of the Delta variant, which according to some experts heard by the Financial Times is probably destined to supplant the Alpha variant everywhere due to the greater ease with which it is transmitted. The newspaper notes that, compared to the 500,000 sequences of the SarsCoV2 virus obtained from Great Britain, Germany obtained 130,000, France 47,000 and Spain 34,000.
No data is reported for Italy. Sequencing “is expensive, takes time and has been neglected,” the director of the Institute of Global Health in Geneva, Antoine Flahault, notes in the Financial Times. The reason for the different pace at which the Delta variant is spreading in Europe remains to be clarified, but the point on which many agree is that one of the main counter measures is to accelerate the anti-Covid-19 vaccination campaigns. in order to slow the circulation of the virus as much as possible. “There is a message that we must all have very clear: it is not over”, observes in the newspaper the virologist Bruno Lina, of the ‘Claude Bernard’ University of Lyon.