There were 5,472 new cases of the Delta variant reported in latest weekly figures, taking the total confirmed cases of the variant to 12,431, PHE said, adding it had overtaken Alpha, the variant first identified in England’s Kent, as Britain’s dominant variant.
The Delta variant is also thought to be more transmissible than Alpha, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned that it could derail plans for lockdown restrictions in England to end on June 21.
“With this variant now dominant across the UK, it remains vital that we continue to exercise caution particularly while we learn more about transmission and health impacts,” said Jenny Harries, Chief Executive, UK Health Security Agency.
Testing expanded in Derbyshire
UK health authorities on Thursday added another region for surge testing following the identification of a “small number” of confirmed cases of the Delta variant. The National Health Service (NHS) Test and Trace system launched additional testing and genomic sequencing at Gamesley Ward in the High Peak area of England’s Derbyshire county, in partnership with the local authorities.
Incl. inputs from PTI