CASES of the Delta variant have soared by 80 per cent in a week to more than 76,000, new data shows.
The strain is spreading among the young and unvaccinated, experts say.
You can view how many cases of Delta have been diagnosed in your area, up to June 16, by clicking on this interactive map.
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Public Health England (PHE) reported today the total number of Delta cases detected has gone up from 42,323 last week to 75,953 today – an increase of 33,630.
It’s also a five-fold increase from two weeks ago, when the figure was 12,341.
PHE said 99 per cent of new cases are the Delta variant, meaning it the most dominant type of coronavirus circulating.
Dr Jenny Harries, Chief Executive of the UK Health Security Agency, said: “Cases are rising rapidly across the country and the Delta variant is now dominant.
“The increase is primarily in younger age groups, a large proportion of which were unvaccinated but are now being invited to receive the vaccine.”
Government data shows that Covid cases are highest in people in their 20s, followed by those aged between 10 and 19.
Dr Harries said: “It is encouraging to see that hospitalisations and deaths are not rising at the same rate but we will continue to monitor it closely.
“The vaccination programme and the care that we are all taking to follow the guidance are continuing to save lives.
“Please make sure that you come forward to receive both doses of the vaccine as soon as you are eligible. Don’t drop your guard- practice ‘hands, face, space, fresh air’ at all times.”
Meanwhile, separate data shows the number of people infected with Covid in England is the highest it has been since April 10.
Around one in 520 people Covid-19 in the week to June 12 – up from one in 560 in the previous week, according to the latest estimates from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The figure is one in 600 in Scotland and one in 1,500 in Wales – both a decrease – and one in 610 in Northern Ireland, which is higher than last week’s estimates.
But although ONS said the number of people infected in the community continues to increase, “rates remain low compared with earlier months in the year”.
The agency, which runs one of the biggest outbreak tracking studies, also said Delta was “the most common variant”.
PHE data reveals that of 60,655 Delta cases analysed, there have been 73 deaths.
More than a third (26) were people who were double-jabbed against Covid – and the figure is more than double last week (12).
The Telegraph reported last week “it is speculation, but they are likely to be older or more frail people in whom immunity has faded since they were given their jabs”.
The Delta variant has fast become the most dominant strain in the UK since it first arrived from India in April.
Scientists said back in early May Delta could overtake Alpha within weeks and cause another surge in late May/early June.
The new wave has hit the North West the hardest of all regions, particularly Bolton and Blacburn with Darwen.
Data to June 16 shows that Bolton has diagnosed more than 4,600 cases since mid-April, while Blackburn has seen 2,700.
Other places with a high total include Manchester with 3,000, Leeds with 1,600. Birmingham with 1,900, and Bedford with 1,000.
There are zero local authorities where no cases have been found.
But some parts of the South West have had cases staggeringly low compared to the north – with fewer than five cases diagnosed in Torridge, Devon and North Devon.
The places in the UK with the highest number of estimated active cases right now include North Ayshire (Scotland), Bolton, Rochdale and Salford, according to the ZOE Covid Symptom Study app.
The best guess is that Delta is 60 per cent more transmissible than the Alpha (Kent) strain and may double the risk of being admitted to hospital.
But research has shown that double vaccination does still prevent hospitalisation from the strain by more than 90 per cent.
It’s put the NHS on a race to give two jabs to as many people as fast as possible, and first doses to the young.
The PM has said two-thirds of adults will have been offered both vaccine doses by July 19.
July 19 is the “terminus” date for the end of all Covid restrictions, a delay from June 21 due to the threat of the Delta variant.
Millions of people still need their first dose, as the PM has pledged to get every adult at least one dose by July 19.
All adults have now been invited to get their Covid vaccine, with over 18s allowed to book from today.
It comes as reports say July 19 may be brought forward to July 5 if data continues to improve.
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A Government source told the Mail: “The decision to delay reopening was so finely balanced – probably the most difficult decision of the whole pandemic – that the PM wanted a review point built in so that if things did change we could move sooner.
“No-one wants these restrictions in place for a day longer than necessary.”
Tory MPs have stressed it’s important that Boris Johnson should open the country at the earliest opportunity if the data improves.