The UK has recorded the highest number of daily coronavirus cases since late February, suggesting that the Delta variant, first detected in India, is spreading widely across the country.
The latest official figures for this Wednesday show that the UK recorded 7,540 new infections, the largest daily increase since February 26.
Cases have increased in recent weeks as a result of the Delta variant. The concern is that this increase will put pressure on the health system again.
Another 123 people were admitted to the hospital with symptoms related to the coronavirus, bringing the total to 1,024. The number of people who died after testing positive for COVID-19 increased by six to 127,860 confirmed deaths.
Health experts hope that the rapid deployment of vaccines will break the link between new cases and deaths. So far, a large proportion of those infected are in the youngest and least vulnerable age groups, many of whom have not yet received the first dose.
The United Kingdom could delay the end of the lockdown to June 21
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson noted that it was too early to say whether the UK lockdown can end on June 21, as data on whether the vaccine’s distribution offers sufficient protection against rapid spread is still being evaluated. of the Delta coronavirus variant.
“We’ll see where we are on Monday. I think what everyone can see very clearly is that cases are increasing and hospitalizations are increasing at times,” Johnson said Wednesday.
“What we have to evaluate is to what extent the deployment of the vaccine, which has been phenomenal, has generated protection in the population so that we can move on to the next phase. And that is what we will analyze.”
The Delta variant of COVID-19 is around 40% more transmissible than the Alpha variant – also known as the British variant – the UK Health Secretary said on Sunday.
The spread of this more communicable variant is believed to be responsible for the catastrophic increase in cases, hospitalizations and deaths in India a few weeks ago.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has stated that a COVID-19 shot appears to be less effective against the Delta variant, encouraging people to go for their second booster shot.
Vaccines are less effective against the Delta variant
A recent study in the UK, for example, showed that one dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca vaccines was less effective against the Delta variant than against the Alpha variant, which was the first to appear in the UK.
Hancock added that the majority of hospitalizations in the country have occurred among people who were not vaccinated.
In France, 31 cases of the Delta variant in the south-western Landes region are being closely followed by the authorities. They noted on Friday that there would likely be more cases, as not all COVID-19 cases are registered.
The Delta variant is the fourth “variant of concern” identified by the World Health Organization through a new naming system using Greek letters of the alphabet. It has been detected in 62 countries in the world, according to the latest WHO epidemiological update.