COVID-19: Delta Variant About 60% More Transmissible Than Alpha and More Resistant to Vaccines, PHE Reports | News from the UK
The Delta (Indian) variant is 64% more transmissible than the Alpha (Kent) variant indoors and vaccines are less effective against it, said Public Health England.
More than 90% new COVID-19 Cases in the UK are now the Delta variant.
The variant first identified in India has replaced the alpha variant as the most dominant in the UK.
Since last week, the number of Delta variant cases across the UK has increased 243% to 42,323.
New PHE studies suggest that the delta variant is associated with a 64% increased risk of transmission in the home compared to the alpha variant – and is 40% more transmissible outdoors.
And delta cases double in all regions of the country from 4.5 days to 11.5 days.
Total infections in England have risen to their highest level since the week ending April 10, with one in 560 people in the week ending April 5.
There were 96,800 people in private households in England who are estimated to have had COVID-19 this week, up from 85,600.
39,061 cases of the Delta variant have now been confirmed in England, including 2,035 in Scotland, 184 in Wales and 43 in Northern Ireland.
PHE said the sharp rise from 12,341 last week to 42,323 this week was partly due to faster test turnaround times and a faster process for identifying cases of the variant.
The latest COVID-19 risk assessment from PHE reports that the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines are 17% less effective against the Delta variant than the Alpha variant after a dose.
But after two doses there was hardly any reduction in effectiveness, which means that taking a second dose is essential to protect against the Delta variant.
The PHE authors said, “This would help maximize two-dose vaccine intake in at-risk groups.”
As of June 7, there had been 42 deaths in England in people confirmed to have the Delta variant who died within 28 days of testing positive.
Of these people, 23 were unvaccinated, seven had received their first dose more than 21 days earlier and 12 had received their second dose more than 14 days earlier.
The government is under pressure to lift most restrictions on Jan.
Nick Thomas-Symonds MP, Shadow Labor Secretary of the Interior, said: “These numbers are terrible. The pace at which delta cases continues to increase is deeply worrying and threatens the lifting of restrictions.
“The blame for this lies with the prime minister and his ruthless refusal to respond to repeated warnings from Labor to secure our borders against COVID and its variants.”
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Analysis: The delta variant could push Freedom Day further down
By Ashish Joshi, health correspondent
We are so close to Freedom Day that any talk of postponing it will of course be a devastating blow.
On Monday, the prime minister is expected to tell the country whether its June 21 target is still achievable.
Today’s numbers will aid that decision-making. And the rising number of new infections that are being driven by the Delta variant will cause Boris Johnson some worries.
The variant first identified in India is more dangerous than any we’ve had to deal with before.
It’s much more transmissible than the original coronavirus and the alpha variant first identified in Kent.
That is why we saw such a significant increase in new cases over the past week. Infections will lead to more people becoming ill.
We have seen increases in hospital admissions in some areas in the north and northwest. Not all over the first and second wave numbers, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen later.
This is why so many scholars are calling for a delay in the lifting of lockdown restrictions.
The argument of those who want all restrictions to be lifted is that most of the “at risk” group has been vaccinated.
This is true. However, there are still a significant number of adults who have not received both vaccinations, which means people will get sick and hospitalized and this could lead to further delays in treating other people on the NHS waiting list.
Although the vaccines offer very good protection against the variant, especially after two doses, it is not one hundred percent protection.
The Delta variant finds new people to infect every day. And that with a record-breaking vaccination program in full swing.
The light is still there, but the tunnel may have just got a little longer.