Delta and Kappa variants increase in Italy at almost 17% of cases, according to health institute

A man walks down the street as COVID-19 restrictions in the Lazio region are relaxed slightly, in Rome, Italy, March 30, 2021. REUTERS / Yara Nardi

MILAN (Reuters) – The variant coronavirus Delta and its brother Kappa have increased in Italy over the past month, accounting for nearly 17% of total COVID-19 cases, the national health institute ISS said on Friday.

The Delta variant was becoming dominant, he said.

Delta, also known as B.1.617.2, and Kappa, or B.1.617.1, are sublines of a variant initially detected in India. Delta is considered a “variant of concern” by the WHO.

“The cases of the Kappa and Delta variants (…) went from 4.2% in May to 16.8% in June,” according to data extracted on June 21, the institute said.

“Our epidemiological surveillance shows a rapid evolution which confirms that in our country also, as in the rest of Europe, the Delta variant of the virus is becoming dominant”, said Anna Teresa Palamara, director of the infectious diseases department of the ISS , in a press release. .

The variant of the Alpha coronavirus, initially detected in the United Kingdom in 2020, remains the most common in Italy, accounting for 74.9% of cases, the institute said.

Italy has recorded 127,380 COVID-19-related deaths since the virus first appeared in February last year, the second-highest death toll in Europe after Britain and the eighth in the world. The country has so far reported 4.26 million cases.

Coronavirus cases have been steadily declining for weeks. The daily tally of new infections rose from 951 to 927 on Thursday, the health ministry said, while coronavirus-related deaths were 28 from 30 the day before.

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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