The latest ISS report at the end of May ago attested the Delta variant on about 1% of coronavirus cases in Italy. As claimed by various experts, this percentage would now represent an underestimation of its diffusion throughout the national territory. Several studies performed on partial data estimate one circulation of the “Indian” strain of Sars-CoV-2 on higher numbers.
Delta variant, Italy among the countries where it is most widespread: the analysis of the Financial Times
In particular, according to an analysis by the “Financial Times”, the Delta variant in Italy would be present in 26% of cases, making our country the fifth in the world for the spread of this coronavirus mutation.
The analysis of the English business newspaper relates to the period between January 1 and June 16 2021 and is based on the sequences of the Sars-CoV-2 deposited in the Gisaid international genetic data bank and data from the Belgian research institute Sciensano.
From what was estimated before Italy there would be, Great Britain and Portugal, where the Delta is dominant respectively with 98% and 96% of cases, then Russia and the United States with 31%. In this particular ranking, after our country, follow Belgium (16%), Germany (15%) and France (6.9%).
However, the sequencing levels of Sars-CoV-2 strains are very different from country to country and this could compromise the reliability of this type of comparative studies at an international level.
In fact, if the Financial Times estimates are based on 500,000 coronavirus sequences arrived from Great Britain, 130,000 from Germany and 47,000 from France, no data is reported on Italy.
Delta variant, Italy among the countries where it is most widespread: new ISS survey
To try to give a more precise answer on how widespread the Delta variant is in Italy, the Ministry of Health has ordered, through a circular signed by the Director General of Prevention Giovanni Rezza, a new quick investigation to estimate the circulation in the country of the main variants of the coronavirus.
The study will be coordinated by the Istituto Superiore di Sanità in collaboration with the Regions and Autonomous Provinces and will take into consideration the samples notified on June 22, 2021, which will be subjected to genomic sequencing.
In the hearing in the Senate Health Committee, on the state of testing, tracing, surveillance and sequencing activities, the director Rezza himself anticipated how the spread of the Indian strain in Italy is increasing: “Now that the Delta variant is circulating, we receive many reports that relate to the activities of the Prevention Departments that trace the contacts of people who are found positive. Unfortunately we have many reports in many Italian regions, at this moment we are trying to contain “.