COVID-19: Indian variant cases recorded in UK rise to 3,424

There are now 3,424 cases of the Indian variant in the UK, according to the latest figures from Public Health England.

The B.1.617.2 variant of concern, which is believed to be more transmissible than the Kent variant that had become dominant in the country, has resulted in surge testing and vaccinations in many areas.

Live COVID updates from the UK and around the world

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Wednesday that 2,967 cases of the COVID-19 variant had been recorded, having stood at more than 2,300 on Monday.

These latest figures are up to 19 May and represent a rise of 2,111 from the previous week.

A total of 3,245 cases have been recorded in England, 136 in Scotland, 28 in Wales and 15 in Northern Ireland.

The spread of the variant has raised fears that England’s roadmap out of COVID restrictions could be delayed, but a postponement of step four, due on 21 June, is far from certain at this stage.

Boris Johnson has said there is "increasing confidence" that the current coronavirus vaccines will be effective against all variants, including the Indian one.

The PM said earlier this week there was "nothing conclusive" at this stage to say step four of the roadmap – lifting all legal limits on social contact – could be pushed back.

Mr Johnson said "we will know a lot more in a few days’ time" and promised to "keep people informed" and "continually updated".

The expectation is that a clearer picture of how much more transmissible the variant is will emerge next week as more data is collected.

Speaking at a Downing Street news conference on Wednesday, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam suggested it may end up being less transmissible than first feared.

Professor Van-Tam, one of England’s deputy chief medical officers, said: "We have a credible range that goes from a few percent more transmissible through to 50% more transmissible – I think most people feel it is going to be somewhere in the middle… but it is just too early."

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap