Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • - [Narrator] A COVID-19 variant first detected

  • in India in October of 2020

  • has quickly spread around the world

  • and been detected in nearly 100 countries

  • within 10 months.

  • As of July, more than 80% of known COVID cases

  • in the US are caused by the Delta variant.

  • - The Delta variant is currently the greatest threat

  • in the US to our attempt to eliminate COVID-19.

  • - The Delta variant is both more transmissible

  • and possibly more severe.

  • - [Narrator] Studies have shown that some COVID vaccines

  • are effective at preventing symptomatic illnesses

  • caused by the strain.

  • Nevertheless, as of July,

  • cases are on the rise in countries

  • where a large part of the population is vaccinated.

  • Even countries that have been previously spared

  • from the pandemic are now battling

  • a ferocious wave of infections.

  • We look at some moment in key countries

  • to understand why the deadly outbreak of Delta

  • is not just threatening the economic recovery

  • but also the return to normal around the world.

  • First, we go back to October of 2020.

  • Health authorities say the Delta variant

  • was first detected here in the state

  • of Maharashtra in India.

  • By the spring, the number of cases in India

  • began ticking up.

  • Then from March to May,

  • infections jumped 20-fold,

  • plunging the country in disarray.

  • - [Betsy] It ripped through the country.

  • Thousands and thousands of new infections every day.

  • Hospitals were completely overwhelmed

  • and they were running out of oxygen

  • for patients who needed help breathing.

  • (speaking in foreign language)

  • - [Narrator] Public health experts blamed

  • India's deadly wave on several factors.

  • There were political rallies for state elections

  • that drew large crowds.

  • There was also a religious festival in April

  • when millions of Hindus gathered to bathe

  • in the Ganges River.

  • And then a few days later,

  • the government relaxed safety measures

  • like mask wearing and social distancing.

  • But scientists say

  • what really helped accelerate the case load

  • was Delta variant's molecular composition

  • and its nine key mutations in the protein spikes

  • that surround the virus.

  • Mutations on these spikes allow the varies

  • to invade human cells more easily,

  • making the Delta variant about 50%

  • more transmissible than others.

  • By June 1st, the variant wasn't only in India

  • but detected in more than 60 countries.

  • And the United Kingdom

  • was one of the first Western countries

  • to see an alarming increase in cases

  • as Delta became the dominant strain.

  • - We're seeing cases growing by about 64% per week

  • and in the worst affected areas,

  • it's doubling every week.

  • - [Narrator] What surprised health officials

  • was that around 75% of the adult British population

  • had already received at least one dose of a vaccine

  • and about 50% was fully vaccinated.

  • - The UK's a really unfortunate situation.

  • There are good levels of vaccination there

  • but the variant took off anyway.

  • - [Narrator] And that was partly because vaccines

  • were reacting differently to Delta

  • than they had to earlier strains.

  • By mid-June, studies showed

  • that one dose of some vaccines

  • was 17% less effective

  • at preventing symptomatic illnesses caused by Delta.

  • But two doses provided good protection.

  • - The more the Delta variant is allowed to spread,

  • the greater the risk of mutations,

  • which would evade the vaccines or evade treatments.

  • And we'd kind of almost be back to the beginning.

  • - [Narrator] By late June,

  • Delta was detected in countries

  • that had been slower to vaccinate,

  • in part because they had been spared the brunt

  • of the pandemic

  • and cases began rising in these places.

  • Australia and Thailand imposed lockdowns.

  • Even Japan decided to ban spectators at the Olympics

  • because of a new wave of infections.

  • - There are many, many, many countries

  • that don't have access to vaccine yet.

  • Not many people in the population are vaccinated.

  • And this is the huge concern about this variant.

  • That it's just going to rip through these countries.

  • - [Narrator] Meanwhile, in the US,

  • as people headed into their 4th of July weekend,

  • the Delta variant had become the dominant strain.

  • People were traveling again

  • and many stopped wearing masks

  • after the CDC said it wasn't necessary

  • for those who were fully vaccinated.

  • The variant has mostly spread to areas

  • where vaccination rates have been slow.

  • In some parts of the country,

  • like in Los Angeles, authorities have asked people

  • to wear masks in indoor public places,

  • regardless of vaccination status.

  • But some public health experts say the appetite

  • for another lockdown is low.

  • - It's difficult to ask people

  • to once again adopt these measures.

  • The message is everybody needs to get vaccinated.

  • - [Narrator] So on July 4th, Biden urged people

  • to do just that

  • as the administration planned

  • to make it easier for people to get their shots,

  • like sending more mobile clinics to festivals

  • and sporting events.

  • - While the virus hasn't been vanquished,

  • we know this,

  • it no longer controls our lives.

  • It no longer paralyzes our nation

  • and it's within our power to make sure it never does again.

  • - [Narrator] And that means it's a race against time

  • to vaccinate more people around the world

  • before the coronavirus mutates against.

  • (lively music)

- [Narrator] A COVID-19 variant first detected

Subtitles and vocabulary

Operation of videos Adjust the video here to display the subtitles

B1 US WSJ variant delta narrator vaccinated detected

How Covid’s Delta Variant Quickly Spread Globally | WSJ

  • 26 3
    joey joey posted on 2021/07/24
Video vocabulary