Published: Tue, June 08, 2021

COVID-19: Hospital admissions 'broadly flat' despite Indian variant, says Hancock

COVID-19: Hospital admissions 'broadly flat' despite Indian variant, says Hancock

"The prime minister and I and the team will be looking at all the data over this week", Hancock told Sky News.

The so-called Delta variant, which appears to spread more rapidly than previous United Kingdom variants, is now the dominant COVID strain in Britain, fueling a surge in cases.

Hancock said it was important that people receive both doses of COVID-19 vaccines as the data showed this could protect effectively against the delta variant.

Downing Street said there was "nothing in the data" to suggest a delay would be needed.

Since then, the biggest and most successful vaccination drive in history has gone from strength-to-strength, with NHS staff and volunteers in the Midlands now having delivered 6.3million first doses of the vaccine.

In Scotland, people aged 30 and over are eligible for a vaccine.

"That really is a tremendous achievement and of course the vaccine programme is our way out of this pandemic, so it is crucial that when you get the invite for your jab, come and get it".

Currently, 40% of the United Kingdom's population has been fully vaccinated, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.

Anyone in the age groups now eligible for a vaccine is asked to book their jab once they receive the text message alert, with Global Positioning System also set to urge the newly eligible to come forward, over the coming days.

Speaking to Sky News, Mr Hancock said: "That means that it is more hard to manage this virus with the new Delta variant".

Britain's swift vaccine rollout had weakened, but not broken, the link between the virus, hospitalisation and death, Hancock said.

As well as opening up invites for first doses, the NHS is continuing its efforts to ensure that people get their second dose of the vaccine which is vital to ensure maximum protection against the virus. So far hospitalisations are "broadly flat", with very few hospitalised after receiving both vaccine doses, he added.

Hospital admissions in Cumbria have yet to rise but Cumbria's director of public health says he is concerned about the increase.

The spread of the Delta variant has seen cases increase in nearly all parts of north-west England, London and Scotland.

An announcement on the data review is expected on June 14. We've said that we'll give people enough time ahead of the June 21 date.

Almost three-quarters of local areas of the United Kingdom (283 out of 380) recorded a week-on-week rise in Covid-19 case rates for the seven days to June 2, the highest proportion since January 6.

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