The Delta variant of coronavirus now accounts for 99% of new Covid infections in the UK.
Public Health England reported 33,630 cases of the variant were recorded in the past 7-days. Last week, the Delta variant made up 89% of Covid cases across the four nations.
The Delta variant is around 65% more transmissible than the Alpha (Kent) variant in households. Although previously dominant in the UK, the Alpha variant which was responsible for the winter surge of infections – made up just 4,089 cases in the last week.
The risk of being admitted to hospital with the Delta variant of coronavirus is around double that of the Alpha variant, but two doses of the vaccines still provide strong protection against both.
423 people have been hospitalised with the Delta variant since last week, taking the overall total to 806. Of these, 527 were unvaccinated and only 84 had received both doses.
The increase in Delta cases is largely among younger age groups, many of which are unvaccinated or have only just received their first dose. Cases of the Delta variant have also been high in ‘hotspot’ locations including Blackburn with Darwen, Birmingham, Bedford, Bury, Kirklees, Manchester, Stockport and Wigan.