UK Passes 5,000 Daily Covid Cases For First Time Since March As Delta Variant Becomes Dominant Strain
The UK has recorded more than 5,000 new cases of Covid-19 in a single day for the first time since shortly before restrictions were relaxed in late March.
A further 18 people were reported to have died from the virus within 28 days of a positive test.
The new figures come after Public Health England’s (PHE) latest weekly surveillance report showed case rates in all regions of England have increased, and NHS Test & Trace reported its highly weekly statistics since early April.
An update on new variants from PHE also showed the number of UK cases of the Delta strain, first discovered in India, have risen by 5,472 since last week to 12,431.
Their experts now believe it has overtaken the version from Kent, known as the Alpha variant, as the dominant version in this country.
It has sparked fears a third wave of coronavirus could be starting, amid concerns over plans to remove further restrictions later this month.
Boris Johnson has repeatedly said there is "nothing in the data” to suggest his roadmap out of lockdown would be affected despite a weekly increase in cases of almost 40%.
Today’s update shows a further 5,274 new positive tests for the disease, the highest number of daily infections since 26 March, when the country was still in lockdown.
There were also an additional 110 hospitalisations for Covid recorded, up by 25% on the previous week.But it also comes as the government announced more than half of all adults in the UK have received their second dose of the vaccine.
Yesterday health secretary Matt Hancock said three-quarters of adults have been jabbed once, and today he revealed health services have now administered a total of 66,180,731 doses between 8 December, when the programme began, and 2 June.
Of those 39,758,428 were people with first doses, and 26,422,303 with both – equating to 50.2% of the adult population.
Hancock said: “We know how important the second dose is to give protection, particularly against the Delta variant. That's why we’ve brought forward appointments from 12 to 8 weeks for the most vulnerable people.
“I encourage everyone who is eligible to join the millions who have the fullest possible protection from this virus. Let's roll up our sleeves and put this pandemic behind us, once and for all.”