The Delta variant (VOC-21APR-02) of Coronavirus was first identified in India in October 2020. It has been categorised as a variant of concern by the World Health Organization.
All viruses mutate. Usually, these mutations are so small that they have little impact on the way the virus behaves.
Sometimes, however, mutations can alter the behaviour of a virus. For example, a virus may mutate in a way that allows it to spread more quickly. In cases like this, a variant may then be identified as a variant of concern.
The most recent evidence suggests that the Delta variant (VOC-21APR-02) is more transmissible than the previously dominant Alpha (or Kent) variant. There are concerns that we are beginning to see localised community transmission, and increasing evidence of cases with no travel history.
The latest evidence does not suggest that the Delta variant (VOC-21APR-02) is more harmful than the Alpha variant, which was first identified in Kent.
The number of Delta variant (VOC-21APR-02) cases reported in Wales is listed on the variant surveillance tab of the Public Health Wales dashboard, which is updated at 12pm every Tuesday and Thursday.
The latest evidence suggests that the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines are effective against the Delta variant (VOC-21APR-02) after two doses. It is important to have both doses of the Coronavirus vaccine when they are offered to you to maximise protection.
The variant may be different, but the way we protect ourselves hasn’t changed. Keep yourself and your loved ones safe by:
Yes. The PCR and lateral flow tests used in Wales will detect this new variant.
If you have the Delta variant then contact tracers, based on risk assessment, may ask you to self-isolate for up to 14 days as a precautionary basis.
This is not the first variant of Coronavirus and is unlikely to be the last.