Data presented to the Secretary of Health on Wednesday evening showed that the vast majority of Covid cases are due to the variant, which was first identified in India.
This equates to a 75% increase in Delta cases at the end of May, with government data showing there have been 7,540 new cases reported in the past 24 hours.
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The results were leaked when Conservative Paul Bristow asked the Health Secretary for the most recent assessment of the spread of the variant during a hearing on the government’s handling of the coronavirus.
Hancock was asked by the health and science select committee about the PPE provisions for healthcare workers on whether the government’s implementation of the three blockades came too late and attempts to block different variants of the virus spreading inside and outside the UK.
He denied lying about testing for the virus in hospital patients who were referred to care homes and also said he had seen no evidence that doctors had died due to a shortage of drugs. ‘EAR.
Mr Hancock said the government was preparing for up to 820,000 deaths in the pandemic.
Since the virus first emerged in the UK, more than 128,000 people have lost their lives to Covid.
It comes as is may reveal that vaccine developers at the University of Oxford have produced a promising new vaccine to fight different variants of the coronavirus – and are set to test it in large-scale human trials.
Professor Sarah Gilbert, who led the development of the original Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine, said early testing of the new vaccine suggested it could produce a much stronger immune response than the existing vaccine.
According to PHE, the Pfizer / BioNTech and Oxford / AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccines are still “very effective” against the variant, but less so than against other strains.
The Delta variant appears to be more resistant to currently available vaccines than the other variants.
In a study published late last month, PHE found that Pfizer jab was 88% effective against symptomatic disease caused by the Delta variant two weeks after the second dose was given, compared to 93% effective against the Kent variant.
After two doses, the AstraZeneca vaccine was 60% effective against symptomatic disease of the Indian variant, down slightly from 66% against the Kent variant.
Both vaccines were 33 percent effective against the Indian strain after one dose.
The spread of the Delta variant and its response to vaccines has cast doubt on the government’s ability to lift all restrictions on June 21, as planned. A chorus of scientists has urged the government to delay the reopening, in order to avoid a third wave of coronavirus and further lockdown measures in the future.