Covid-19 variants including Delta transmissible via airborne means in 15 seconds

MOH's tweet on Delta variant dated July 15, 2021.

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By Ling Hui

KUCHING, July 17: Covid-19 variants including the Delta variant may cause a Covid-19 infection in merely 15 seconds through airborne transmission, says Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

The Health director-general said this was an example of how the coronavirus has become more contagious due to a change in its nature during mutation.

“Before this, close contacts could be infected if exposed to a Covid-19 positive case within 15 minutes and at a distance of one meter away.

“With the new variants including Delta, infections can now happen within 15 seconds and it is airborne. This increases the rate of infections in the community,” he said in a tweet by the Ministry of Health (MOH) on July 15.

When the normal variant has an infectivity level of reproduction number and growth rate (Rt) 2.5 to 3, Noor Hisham said the Delta is higher with Rt 5 to 8.  That means if 100 individuals are infected, 500 to 800 more individuals will also be infected in the shortest time possible.

He also said the high transmissibility and infectious rate of the Delta variant has been the cause of the increase in the nationwide caseload since June 26.

As of today, 17 Delta variant cases have been reported in Kuching since its first case was detected on June 18.

Meanwhile, traces of the Delta variant have not been detected in other districts in Sarawak yet. — DayakDaily