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COVID-19: Delta variant cases up 46% in a week

Written by on 2 July 2021

Cases of the Delta coronavirus variant have risen 46% in a week in the UK – as an expert warned the even more transmissible Delta plus variant could soon hit the country.

Another 50,824 cases were reported in the latest weekly Public Health England (PHE) figures, taking the total to 161,981 as of 30 June.

England accounts for 148,538 of the cases, Scotland 10,185, Wales 1,749, and Northern Ireland 1,509.

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That represents an almost four-fold rise in Delta cases in less than a month. On 9 June, the total stood at 42,323.

The Delta variant continues to account for 95% of all coronavirus cases, PHE added,

So far, only 42 cases of the Delta plus variant (which has a spike protein mutation called K417N) have been found – with latest data showing no change on last week.

Delta plus is thought to be more transmissible than the original variant, according to health officials in India.

Speaking in a YouTube video, Professor Tim Spector, co-founder of the ZOE COVID symptom study, warned: “We are also monitoring these new variants such as the Delta plus, which is probably going to hit us anytime soon.”

The study records the coronavirus symptoms of people who have received a positive PCR test.

Prof Spector earlier this month called on the government to update the list of “classic” symptoms, saying sneezing was now among the most common signs, as well as a headache, runny nose and sore throat.

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PM ‘confident’ two jabs will enable travel

Dr Jenny Harries, chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency, said that although Delta cases had risen significantly it was encouraging there had not been a similar rise in hospitalisations as it showed the vaccines were working well.

“Cases across the UK continue to rise and it is incredibly important that we do not forget to be careful,” she said.

“The best thing we can do to protect ourselves and the people we love is to get the vaccine if eligible, get tested twice a week and practise ‘hands, face, space, fresh air’ at all times.

“Although cases are rising, we are not seeing a proportional rise in the number of people who are being admitted to hospital.

“The data suggests this is testament to the success of the vaccination programme so far and clearly demonstrates the importance of getting both doses of the vaccine.”

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