The Delta variant now accounts for 91% of new coronavirus cases in the UK, the Health Secretary said, amid a warning from Public Health England that infections are increasing “rapidly”.

The dominance of the variant, first identified in India, was confirmed by Matt hancock as it was questioned by deputies on its management of the pandemic.

He said Thursday that the 91% figure came from an assessment he saw “last night.”

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Delta is believed to be around 40 to 60% more transmissible than the Kent (Alpha) variant, and appears to have helped push cases to their highest level since February – more than 7,500 were reported as of Wednesday. And nearly 7,400 were announced on Thursday.

Additional tests have been deployed in some regions, such as the Northwest, in an attempt to limit its spread.

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The armed forces have helped distribute tests in Delta hotspots such as Bolton

The Health Secretary also appears to have left the door open for future lockdown measures if current vaccines are not effective against the new variants.

Mr Hancock told MPs the plans involved changing vaccines “as quickly as possible” – with the goal of “having a variant vaccine, treatment and diagnosis within 100 days”.

He said he was “very confident” that a vaccine could be developed quickly but “in the meantime, the tools we have are the tools available”.

He did not deny that this included lockdowns and social distancing and said he would “consider” releasing plans to deal with a new variant.

However, people who have received both doses of a Pfizer or AstraZeneca jab are believed to have strong protection against the Delta variant.

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Source: news.sky.com
This notice was published: 2021-06-10 14:18:00

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