Simon Meechan 3 minutes
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The UK has recorded a huge spike in Delta variant Covid-19 cases with just over a week to go before England is set to remove its lockdown rules.
Public Health England figures released today show cases of the Delta variant, the strain first found in India, rose by 34% across the UK, a rise of 54,268 from 161,981 to 216,249
Of the 216,249, 180,643 have been in England, 28,559 in Scotland, 3,666 in Wales and 3,381 in Northern Ireland. The Delta strain now accounts for 99% of confirmed UK cases.
The vast majority of those who have tested positive for the Delta variant are unvaccinated, while PHE says the increase in cases has not been followed by an equal rise in hospital admissions.
England’s deputy chief medical officer, Dr Jenny Harries, said: “The data continues to show that the sharp increase in cases that we are seeing is not being followed by a similar increase in hospitalisation and death.”
Dr Harries added: “As we approach the planned end of restrictions, we must remain cautious and careful. Cases are rising across the country, and whilst the vaccines offer excellent protection, they do not offer 100% protection.
“Be sensible, and follow ‘hands, face, space, fresh air’ at all times, and make sure to get tested if required.”
A total of 1,904 people had been admitted to hospital in England with the Delta variant of Covid-19 as of June 21, Public Health England said.
Some 1,283 of the 1,904 people were under the age of 50 while 615 were 50 or over.
Of the 1,283 under 50, 987 (77%) were unvaccinated, 106 (8%) were less than 21 days after their first dose of vaccine, 118 (9%) 21 or more days after their first dose of vaccine and 48 (4%) were fully vaccinated.
Of the 615 aged 50 or over, 195 (32%) were unvaccinated, 11 (2%) less than 21 days after their first dose of vaccine, 140 (23%) 21 or more days after their first dose of vaccine and 265 (43%) were fully vaccinated.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed England will end its Covid-19 lockdown on Monday July 19.