The number of Delta variant infections in the UK has risen by 33,650 in a week to 75,973, according to health officials, with the highly transmissible version first discovered in India now accounting for 99% of all Covid-19 cases in the country.
PHE, which has been tracking various concerns (VOCs) on a weekly basis, stated that its data indicates that Delta VOC has a higher risk of hospitalisation than Alpha VOC, which was discovered in the Kent region of England.
It also cited prior research showing that two doses of a Covid vaccine provide a "high degree of protection" against Delta-related hospitalisation.
"PHE's weekly Covid-19 variant cases data show that numbers of the Delta variant in the UK have risen by 33,650 since last week to a total of 75,973," PHE reports.
INCREASED RISK OF HOSPITALISATION
The most recent data, the Delta variant is present in 99 percent of all sequenced and genotyped cases across the country.
Data show that Delta has a higher risk of hospitalisation than Alpha, despite PHE analysis showing that two doses of vaccine provide a high level of protection against hospitalisation, estimated to be more than 90% "It stated.
According to the analysis, a total of 806 patients have been hospitalised with the Delta variety as of June 14, up from 423 the week before. Only 84 of the 806 had got both doses, and 527 were unvaccinated.
It concludes that deaths are not numerous, as Delta's case fatality rate stays low.
It does, however, remind out that deaths usually occur many weeks following an infection, so it's too early to compare Delta's case fatality to that of Alpha or other VOCs.
"DO NOT LET YOUR GUARD DOWN"
Dr Jenny Harries, Chief Executive Officer of the United Kingdom Health Security Agency, said "Cases are spreading rapidly across the country and the Delta strain now has taken on.
"The increase is concentrated in younger age groups, where a large proportion of previously unvaccinated people are now being offered vaccination. It's encouraging to see that hospitalizations and deaths aren't increasing concurrently, but we'll keep an eye on it", she explained.
"The immunisation programme continues to save lives along with our careful adherence to the guidelines. Please make sure you come forward as soon as you are eligible to receive both doses of the vaccine. Keep your guard up at all times by practising 'hands, face, space, fresh air." she continued.
COVID REINFECTIONS DATA
The PHE discovered a "low risk" of reinfection with SARS-CoV-2, which produces Covid-19, in independent population surveillance data on suspected Covid-19 reinfections, affording some chance of long-term immunity.
During the epidemic, 15,873 probable reinfections with SARS-CoV-2 were found in England, out of roughly 4 million patients with confirmed infections, as of May 30. This equates to roughly 0.5 percent of cases re-infecting.
"While we know that people can contract viruses more than once," Dr Susan Hopkins, PHE's Strategic Director for Covid-19, said, "this data currently suggests that the rate of Covid-19 reinfection is minimal."
"However, we must not become complacent in this regard; it is critical to have both doses of the vaccine and to follow the instructions at all times to limit your risk of infection," she cautioned.
PHE stated that there is currently no evidence that the Delta VOC, or any other VOC, is more likely to induce reinfection than others, but that it is actively monitoring this and other data on reinfection.
THIRD WAVE IN THE UNITED KINGDOM?
The PHE findings come after the Real-time Assessment of Community Transmission (REACT-1) study, led by Imperial College London and based on over 100,000 home swab tests, revealed on Thursday that the number of persons infected with the coronavirus doubles every 11 days.
The Delta VOC is thought to be the main cause of a feared third wave of the epidemic in the UK, prompting the government to postpone relaxing all lockdown restrictions until July 19 to avoid hospitals becoming overburdened.
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