|A man waits outside a mobile COVID-19 vaccination centre outside Bolton Town Hall, in Bolton, England on Jun 9, 2021, where case numbers of the Delta variant first identified in India have been relatively high. (File photo by=Peter Byrne/PA via AP)|
[Asia News = Reporter Reakkana] LONDON: On Friday (Jun 11), the British government said that the new Delta coronavirus variant is 60 percent more transmissible in households than the variant that forced the country to lock down in January, AFP reported.
The Delta variant, which first emerged in India, has caused an increase in cases in the UK, prompting questions about whether social distancing restrictions will be lifted as planned from Jun 21. New research from Public Health England "suggests that the Delta variant is associated with an approximately 60 percent increased risk of household transmission" compared to the Alpha variant identified in Kent, southeast England. The Kent variant caused a surge of COVID-19 cases in January leading to a three-month lockdown as hospitals were stretched to near-capacity.
The UK speeds up its public vaccination drive in response and has now given two doses of vaccine to nearly 29 million adults and one dose to nearly 41 million. Daily cases rose to 7,393 on Thursday, a level not seen since February. More than 90 percent of new cases were of the Delta variant, ministers said. The government said this suggested the vaccination program is mitigating the impact of the Delta variant, urging the public to get both jabs.