The number of Delta variant cases of COVID-19 in the UK have risen by 35,204 since last week to a total of 111,157, representing a 46 per cent increase, health officials said in the weekly report released recently.
According to PTI report, Public Health England (PHE) said of the total Delta variant of concern (VOC) first identified in India 42 belong to the Delta AY.1 sub lineage, dubbed as Delta plus in some quarters over fears of its even greater transmissibility. While the Delta variant now accounts for approximately 95 per cent of cases that are sequenced across the UK, PHE said the both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine continue to provide good protection against hospitalisations.
Through the success of our vaccination programme, data suggest we have begun to break the link between cases and hospitalisations, said Dr Jenny Harries, Chief Executive of the UK Health Security Agency. This is hugely encouraging news, but we cannot become complacent. Two doses of vaccine are far more effective against COVID-19 than a single dose, so please make sure that you come forward to get your second dose as soon as you are invited, she said.
Whilst vaccines provide excellent protection, they do not provide total protection, so it is still as important as ever that we continue to exercise caution, she added. Meanwhile, PHE said it added another variant, Lambda (C.37) to its list of variants under investigation (VUI) on Wednesday due to international expansion and several notable mutations, including L452Q and F490S. The World Health Organisation (WHO) classified Lambda as a Variant of Interest on June 14.
Six cases of Lambda have been identified across the country to date, all have been linked to overseas travel. The earliest documented sample was reported in Peru and Lambda has been sequenced in 26 countries to date. According to UK health officials, there is currently no evidence that this variant causes more severe disease or renders the vaccines currently deployed any less effective. But PHE said it is carrying out laboratory testing to better understand the impact of mutations on the behaviour of the virus.