health

Matt Hancock warns Indian variant now responsible for up to three quarters of all new covid cases in UK


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att Hancock today warned the Indian variant is responsible for up to three quarters of all new Covid cases in the UK.

Confirmed cases of the Indian variant of Covid-19 have doubled in a week to reach almost 7,000, although hospital admissions remain flat.

The health secretary told a Downing Street press briefing on Thursday: “The latest estimates are that more than half and potentially as many as three-quarters of all new cases are now of this variant.

“As we set out our road map we always expected cases to rise, we must remain vigilant.

“The aim, of course, is to break the link to hospitalisations and deaths so that cases alone no longer require stringent restrictions on people’s lives.”

New data from Public Health England (PHE) shows 6,959 cases of the Indian variant of coronavirus have been confirmed in the UK.

The figures are up to May 26, and represent a rise of 3,535 on the previous week.

In England, 6,180 cases have been confirmed, along with 702 in Scotland, 58 in Wales and 19 in Northern Ireland.

Mr Hancock said the increase in cases of the Indian variant remained focused in “hotspots” where surge testing and vaccinations were taking place.

He said: “The increase in cases remains focused in hotspots and we are doing all we can to tackle this variant wherever it flares up.

“In the hotspot areas we are surging vaccines, too, for those who are eligible, in Bolton for instance we have done 17,147 vaccinations in the last week.”



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