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The Explainer: How much do we know right now about the Delta variant?

TCD virus expert Dr Kim Roberts and reporter Michelle Hennessy join us to explain more.

THE DELTA VARIANT has been getting a huge amount of press recently, as cases of it continue to rise globally.

Earlier this week, the European centre for Disease Prevention and Control said the Delta variant of the coronavirus, first identified in India, could account for 90% of new cases across the bloc in the coming months.

Andrea Ammon, director of the ECDC said “the Delta variant is more transmissible than other circulating variants and we estimate that by the end of August it will represent 90%” of new cases in the EU.

It’s estimated that the Delta variant is 40% – 60% more contagious than the Alpha variant, which was first discovered in the UK. Meanwhile, here in Ireland, the chief medical officer warned that the variant accounted for 20% of new cases last week, while that figure is at 50% in Northern Ireland.

With a story developing this rapidly, and with the next phase of Ireland’s reopening set to take place on 10 July, we decided to take a look at the Delta variant for this week’s episode of The Explainer.

Our guest this week is a familiar voice on The Journal – Dr Kim Roberts, leader of the Virology research group in Trinity College Dublin. She’s been providing our readers and listeners with information right from the start of the pandemic.

She’s joined by our senior reporter Michelle Hennessy, as we look at what we know right now about the Delta variant.

Don’t forget that you can now listen to the podcast directly from your app – here’s how. 

And finally, this week The Explainer won a Justice Media Award merit award for our episode on why the Irish media was barred from reporting the names of children who have been murdered. We’re honoured. You can listen to that episode here


The Explainer / SoundCloud

This episode was put together by presenter Sinéad O’Carroll, producers Aoife Barry and Nicky Ryan.

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