The UK has recorded 17 deaths and 8,125 cases of covid-19 in the past 24 hours, according to the latest official data, which today also confirmed that the Delta variant is 60% more transmissible.
A study published today by the General Health Directorate of England (Public Health England, PHE) indicates that the estimate is higher than the previous one, quoted by Health Minister Matt Hancock earlier this week, of being 40% more contagious compared to the Alpha variant, itself more transmissible than the early variants of the new coronavirus.
According to the PHE, 42,323 cases of this variant first identified in India were identified, up from 29,892 a week ago, representing more than 90% of the total infections in the country.
However, the body finds it “encouraging” to note that the progression of the variant is not accompanied by an increase in hospitalizations of the same proportions.
Fewer than 1,000 patients with the new coronavirus are currently in British hospitals and, of the 42 deaths infected with this variant, 23 were not vaccinated.
Data indicate that the vaccination program continues to mitigate the impact of this variant” in populations where the number of people who received two doses of the vaccine is high, stresses the public body.
These different factors will inform British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision next week whether or not to advance to the fourth stage of the decontamination plan on June 21, when all restrictions in England should be lifted.
The rise in the Transmissibility Index (Rt) between 1.2 and 1.4 in England reflects the impact of the Delta variant in the country, which had been experiencing a decline in the number of cases since January.
As of Thursday, seven deaths and 7,393 cases had been reported.