Covid hospitalisations TRIPLE in Indian variant hotspot Bolton in three weeks as data shows strain is now dominant in 44 areas across England
- Currently 43 Covid patients in Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, latest data shows, up from 12 three weeks ago
- Analysis of positive tests in week up to May 15 found variant had spread to 151 out of England’s 314 authorities
- Strain now behind 90% of cases in Blackburn and eight in 10 in hotspots Bolton, Sefton, Bedford and Croydon
PUBLISHED: 17:42, 24 May 2021 | UPDATED: 18:06, 24 May 2021
The number of people in hospital with coronavirus in Bolton has more than tripled in a fortnight as the Manchester borough grapples with an outbreak of the highly-infectious Indian variant.
Sources say there are currently 43 Covid patients in the town’s NHS trust, compared to 12 that were receiving care on May 10. Experts fear the pressure on the trust, which looks after the Royal Bolton Hospital, will only get worse as the infection rate climbs.
Bolton is recording more than 400 Covid cases per 100,000 people – twenty times the national average – following a period of exponential growth of the Indian variant in the last month. It takes several weeks for cases to turn into hospitalisations due to the lag between someone catching and falling seriously ill with Covid.Dailymail.co.uk: News, Sport, Showbiz, Celebrities from Daily MailPauseNext video0:02 / 1:45SettingsFull-screenRead More
However, Number 10 has said the ‘majority’ of people being hospitalised with the disease currently are either unvaccinated or have not been for both jabs.
Analysis by Public Health England has found two doses of AstraZeneca or Pfizer‘s jab provide a similar level of protection from the Indian variant as they do for the Kent version, which has raised hopes that hospital and death rates will not reach the peaks of previous waves.
Meanwhile, data published today showed the Indian variant spiralling in Bolton is now dominant in nearly 15 per cent of authorities in England – almost twice as many as the previous week.
Analysis of samples from people infected with Covid in the week up to May 15 also shows that the B.1.617.2 strain had spread to 151 out of England’s 314 local authorities.
The mutant virus had overtaken the previously-dominant Kent variant in 44 places, up from 23 the week prior. It is now behind behind 90 per cent of Covid infections in Blackburn and eight in ten in the hotspots of Bolton, Sefton, Bedford and Croydon.
Professor Andrew Pollard, one of the main researchers behind the AstraZeneca jab, today said the pandemic in the UK could be declared ‘over’ if the vaccines work as well on the mutant virus in the real world as PHE believes. Data is expected to become clearer next week.
However, both Pfizer and AstraZeneca’s jabs were only 33 per cent effective at blocking symptoms of the Indian strain three weeks after one dose, compared to 50 per cent against the Kent variant. Officials say it highlights the importance of getting both injections.
It comes as it was revealed that official plans for social distancing and ‘Covid certificates’ after June 21 won’t be revealed for at least another week, despite hopes rising that England had triumphed.