UK Delta variant cases rise by 46% in one week

25 June 2021, 12:11

The number of Delta variant cases in the UK increased by almost 50 per cent.
The number of Delta variant cases in the UK increased by almost 50 per cent. Picture: PA

By Emma Soteriou

There has been a 46 per cent rise in cases of the Delta variant of Covid-19 in one week, Public Health England (PHE) has said.

The figures showed that there was a total of 111,157 cases, up 35,204 - or 46 per cent - from the previous week.

Around 95 per cent of cases in the UK are now the Delta variant, however, PHE said vaccines continue to have a "crucial effect on hospital admission and death".

In the week up to 21 June, 514 people were admitted to hospital in England with Covid-19, 304 of which having not had the vaccine.

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.

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"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."

That said, the Delta Plus variant - a mutation of the one first detected in India - has become a 'variant of concern' due to it being potentially less susceptible to vaccines and more transmissible.

The new variant accounted for 42 of the cases identified of the virus under the Delta strain.

A further variant - Lambda - has also been designated as a 'variant under investigation' due to a rise in international cases and several mutations.

The six identified cases of the Lambda strain in the UK have all been connected to overseas travel.