Four areas where Indian Covid variant is now dominant with delay to lockdown end feared
ByWilliam WalkerNews Reporter
- 02:37, 13 MAY 2021
- UPDATED07:43, 13 MAY 2021
CHRIS WHITTY SAYS INDIAN COVID VARIANT IS ‘LESS LIKELY TO BE ABLE TO ESCAPE VACCINATION’
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Bolton is the UK’s “ground zero” for the Indian Covid variant which has become the dominant strain in four areas, according to figures.
Boris Johnson has warned the B1617.2 strain, which is currently ravaging parts of India, is “of increasing concern” in Britain.
Official figures set to be released on Thursday are expected to confirm a worrying three fold increase in infections of the highly transmissible mutation.
Experts advising the Government believe the final stage of Boris Johnson’s road map out of lockdown – set for June 21 – could now be pushed back.
And it is believed that there will be an emergency meeting of the Government’s SAGE advisers tomorrow to discuss the variant.
The Mail Online reports analysis by one of the UK’s variant trackers has warned the strain is focused on hotspots in Bolton and nearby Blackburn with Darwen.76659595577MOST READ1Baby rushed to hospital with ‘hole’ in mouth – before red-faced mum realises mistake2Parents slammed as ‘lazy’ for making ‘pram tent’ to entertain toddler when shopping3Man instantly rejected from job interview after failing trick test at reception
There outbreaks are said to have grown by 93 and 86 per cent in a week, respectively, and more than half of cases found to be the Indian strain.
It is also reported to be behind half of Covid infections in London, Bedford and South Northamptonshire, but these outbreaks are still small.
Citing data from the Wellcome Sanger Institute The Sun reports that Bolton is the UK’s epicentre with 47 positive Covid tests caused by the Indian strain up to April 24, representing 55 per cent of Covid cases in seven days.
Nearby Blackburn with Darwen reportedly saw 19 cases identified, representing 55.7 per cent of the area’s total.
In South Northamptonshire nearly 77 per cent of cases were the India variant while Bedford saw 53.8 per cent, representing 10 cases.
Members of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies will assess the threat at a meeting today, reports i news.
A member of the committee told the publication that “a delay is possible” for lockdown easing in England.
Asked about a possible delay to the June 21 easing, Tory minister James Cleverly told Sky News: “Scientists on SAGE will make assessments, they will report that to government, and we will make decisions based on the data, the evidence they provide.138329054867DON’T MISSSchool rang mum-of-five as she lay dying to say she was late picking up kidsThousands of Brits could be ‘turned away’ from Portugal even after May 17 due to EU banSAGE in urgent meeting today on Indian variant as expert warns ‘it will get everywhere’
“The Prime Minister and the Health Secretary have always been clear that the easing of restrictions which allows us to get back to normality will be done at a pace and in a way that is safe.
“We will always be driven by the data.”
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COG-UK, the cross body group of experts tasked with keeping track of new mutations, is said to have identified 1,723 cases of the Indian variant.
If this figure is confirmed by Public Health England in its weekly update, it would be treble the 520 figure from seven days earlier.
Ministers have not ruled out re-introducing local lockdowns in areas where the variant of concern is increasing.
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