Brazil reached this Tuesday, 31, a total of 2,613 confirmed cases of the Delta variant of the new coronavirus, registering an increase of 86% in relation to the number of positive diagnoses recorded until last Tuesday (1405), according to data gathered by the Ministry of Health. The significant increase in the number of cases, however, may influence the change in the way the variant is analyzed by the World Health Organization (WHO).
So far, according to the Ministry of Health, Delta cases have been registered in the Federal District (181) and in the following States: Alagoas (3), Amapá (5), Amazonas (18), Bahia (3), Ceará (96 ), Espírito Santo (7), Goiás (47), Maranhão (7), Minas Gerais (102), Pará (5), Paraíba (87), Paraná (76), Pernambuco (15), Rio de Janeiro (907) , Rio Grande do Norte (3), Rio Grande do Sul (230), Santa Catarina (63), São Paulo (757) and Tocantins (1).
In Rio de Janeiro, the state with the highest absolute number of cases, Delta already accounts for 86% of sequenced covid-19 cases, according to mapping by the Corona-Ômic Genomic Surveillance Network of the new coronavirus in the state. In June, Delta cases were only 6%. In the following month, they jumped to 48%; now, they are an absolute majority. Altogether, Delta has resulted in at least 67 deaths across the country. The states that have registered victims of the disease are: Bahia (1), Goiás (2), Maranhão (1), Minas Gerais (4), Paraná (21), Pernambuco (1), Rio de Janeiro (11), Rio Grande do Sul (19) and Santa Catarina (2). In addition to the Federal District, with five deaths.
The city of Piracicaba informed on Monday, 30, that the city registered the first death in São Paulo caused by the Delta variant. The case was reported on Tuesday, 31, to the Secretary of State for Health, which said it was investigating the details. As data from the Ministry of Health are updated based on notifications from state secretariats, death in Piracicaba will only be accounted for by the federal government after confirmation by the government of São Paulo.
Change in WHO criteria
Last Thursday, 25, the City of São Paulo informed that the World Health Organization changed the way of analyzing the Delta variant, classifying all AY strains as worry variants (VOC). With this new scenario, the Butantan Institute also started to report samples with these sublines in the capital, increasing the number of positive Delta diagnoses in the State of São Paulo from 266 to 757 in one week.
In addition to São Paulo, the measure may have affected the number of cases confirmed by the variant in other states as well, which may have been decisive for the 86% increase in the total number of confirmed cases. Estadão questioned the Ministry of Health about the change in the criteria by the WHO and is awaiting a response.