A new coronavirus strain detected in Moscow, the ‘Delta’ variant, has been found in almost 90% of new cases, it spreads faster and is more aggressive than the Wuhan strain, Moscow City Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said on Friday.
"The updates we have received say that 89.3% of the sick people [in Moscow] have a mutated coronavirus, the so-called Delta, which is the Indian variant. It happens to be more aggressive and spreads faster. The most unpleasant thing is that in order to resist it, an individual’s immune status, their number of antibodies, need to be almost twice as high as against the Wuhan virus," Sobyanin said in a televised interview with Channel One.
According to the mayor, the strength of the mutated strain has caused "an explosive, simply huge" uptick in hospitalizations.
"In fact, we are starting to go through this story again. What is more, with more severe consequences," he said. "We are converting new hospitals, new facilities to combat COVID every day, and we can barely keep up," the mayor concluded.
On Thursday, Sobyanin said that about 600 beds for coronavirus patients had been filled in the Russian capital in a span of two days. The mayor added that to date, 17,000 new beds had been provided for coronavirus patients in Moscow, and soon their number will expand to 24,000.