The Delta variant, also known as B.1.617.2, was first identified in India and has since been found across the world. It now accounts for most cases of COVID-19 in the UK, having overtaken the Alpha variant that was first identified there and pushing back re-opening plans, NPR adds. Some analyses have suggested that the Delta variant may be as or more transmissible as the Alpha variant, with NPR noting that new estimates suggest it is 50 percent more transmissible than the Alpha variant and may lead to a higher number of hospitalizations.
In the US, the Delta is estimated to make up about 10 percent of COVID-19 cases, CNN adds.
The CDC previously considered the Delta variant to be a variant of interest, CNN notes, adding that the World Health Organization deemed Delta a variant of concern, about a month ago.