Delta variant hit 100,000 in UK, after almost 50% increase one week
Cases of the coronavirus Delta variant hit 100,000 in the UK – after a huge increase of almost 50% in just one week.
Britain has reported 35,204 new cases of the Delta coronavirus variant in the latest week, taking the total number of confirmed cases to 111,157, Public Health England said on Friday.
The Delta variant now comprises 96% of sequenced cases, Public Health England said, adding that vaccines were still effective at providing protection against risk of hospitalisation.
Public Health England said it had designated a new variant, Lambda, with six cases detected between February 23 and June 7 – of whom five had travelled overseas.
A total of 1,320 people have been admitted to hospital in England with the Delta variant of Covid-19 as of June 21, a rise of 514 on the previous week, the latest figures reveal.
Some 902 of the 1,320 people were under the age of 50 while 418 were over 50.
Of the 902 under 50, 695 (77%) were unvaccinated, 79 (9%) within 21 days of their first dose of vaccine, 85 (9%) more than 21 days after their first dose of vaccine and 27 (3%) were fully vaccinated.
Of the 418 over 50, 136 (33%) were unvaccinated, nine (2%) within 21 days of their first dose of vaccine, 104 (25%) more than 21 days after their first dose of vaccine and 163 (39%) were fully vaccinated.
India’s health ministry has said studies show that Delta plus variant spreads more easily, binds more easily to lung cells and is potentially resistant to monoclonal antibody therapy, which can help neutralise the virus.
But while the Delta variant now accounts for around 95% of new cases sequenced in the UK, PHE said vaccines continue to have a “crucial effect on hospital admission and death”.
Dr Jenny Harries, chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency, said: “Through the success of our vaccination programme, data suggest we have begun to break the link between cases and hospitalisations.
This is hugely encouraging news, but we cannot become complacent.
“Two doses of vaccine are far more effective against Covid-19 than a single dose, so please make sure that you come forward to get your second dose as soon as you are invited.
“Whilst vaccines provide excellent protection, they do not provide total protection, so it is still as important as ever that we continue to exercise caution.
“Protect yourself and the people around you by working from home where possible, and by practising ‘hands, face, space, fresh air’ at all times.”