Cases of Indian variants increase by more than 2,000 in a week – as ‘clusters’ appear across UK Bedford News

Cases of Indian variants increased by 2,000 in the space of a week (Photo: Getty Images)

Cases of the Indian Covid variant have increased by more than 2,000 in the space of a week, according to the latest figures from Public Health England (PHE).

Weekly data shows that there are now a total of 3,424 cases of the B.1.617.2 variant in the UK, with most cases concentrated in the North West and London, although ‘clusters are now appearing across the country.

The figures go back to May 19 and mark an increase of 2,111 cases from the previous week.

On Thursday May 20, Health Secretary Matt Hancock revealed that infections had risen from 2323 on Monday May 17 to 2967.

In England, 3,245 cases have now been confirmed, along with 136 in Scotland, 28 in Wales and 15 in Northern Ireland.

The figures come amid reports that for three weeks in April and May, eight local authorities in England – including Blackburn with Darwen, where cases are high – did not have access to all data on positive tests in their region, more than 700 cases. have not been reported or traced locally.

The BBC said a report into the reporting problem from one of the councils involved concluded that the rapid spread of the Indian strain within its border was “exacerbated by the sporadic failure of the national testing system and of traceability ”.

However, Downing Street has denied that the “temporary delay” in NHS testing and traceability to alert local authorities in sensitive areas of positive cases has contributed to the spread of the Indian variant.

The government said only a small number of authorities were involved and the problem was “quickly resolved”.

Where have cases been found?

The North West of England has recorded the highest number of cases of the variant, with Bolton, Blackburn with Darwen and Bedford among the most affected.

Surge tests and vaccinations are currently underway in six new parts of England to try to control the spread, including Bedford, Burnley, Hounslow, Kirklees, Leicester and North Tyneside. That’s in addition to Bolton and Blackburn.

In Scotland, the Scottish authorities are taking similar measures in Glasgow and Moray.

In the last week in Bolton and Blackburn with Darwen, 26,094 vaccinations were administered, while another 75,000 were delivered.

Dr Meera Chand, the director of Covid-19 incidents at PHE, said essential people in the worst-affected areas who had yet to receive their second dose of the vaccine came forward as soon as it was offered.

She said: “This is vitally important in light of our current assessment that (B1617.2) has developed rapidly in England and may be highly transmissible.

“PHE will continue to monitor all variants closely, paying particular attention to the impact on hospitalizations and deaths, which will help us understand the protective effects of the vaccine.”

PHE also said it was investigating another new variant after 49 cases were identified, mostly in Yorkshire and the Humber region.

So far, there is no evidence that it causes more serious illness or makes vaccines less effective.

The latest figures come as a member of the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) warned the country could see the start of a third wave of the pandemic.

Professor Andrew Hayward, an infectious disease expert at University College London, said he was “very concerned” about the rise of the Indian variant and further measures may be needed to bring it under control.

He said it would become evident over the next one to two weeks whether localized outbreaks of the variant became more generalized.

Speaking to the BBC, he said: ‘Obviously we are doing everything we can to contain the spread of this, but it is likely that more general measures may start to be needed to control it.

“So while I think we always thought we would have another wave of Covid, the size of that wave will depend a lot on the transmissibility of the variant that causes it and the proportion of the population that was vaccinated when it was. shots.

“Fortunately, we have had a good proportion of the population vaccinated, but there are still people who are not vaccinated in the high risk groups, the vaccine is not 100% effective, and even in the higher groups. young people, if you get lots, thousands, or hundreds of thousands of cases, then you would expect a lot of hospitalizations and deaths as a result.

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This notice was published: 2021-05-21 06:28:52