Indian Delta variant Covid cases double in a week in the ITV Anglia region

(210520) -- BEDFORD, May 20, 2021 (Xinhua) -- Photo taken on May 19, 2021 shows a banner of a coronavirus walk-through testing site in Bedford, Britain. Almost 3,000 cases of the coronavirus variant first detected in India have been reported in Britain, British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said Wednesday. Surge testing and vaccinations will be deployed in those areas including Bedford, Burnley, Hounslow, Kirklees, Leicester and North Tyneside, said Hancock. (Photo by Tim Ireland/Xinhua)

The number of cases of the coronavirus variant that was first identified in India, now known as the Delta variant, have more than doubled in a week across the Anglia region.

The latest figures from the Wellcome Sanger Institute in Cambridge show there were 546 cases of the mutant strain of Covid-19 in the region in the week to 22 May. That compares with 252 cases in the previous week.

There is a time lag with the release of data involving the Indian or Delta variant because it takes longer to analyse the genetic make-up of the positive test sample.

The 546 cases represented about 40% of the total confirmed cases in the Anglia region in that week.

Overall the rolling weekly total of positive cases in the Anglia region has been rising every day since 22 May compared to the previous seven days.

The continued spread of the Indian or Delta coronavirus variant has cast doubt on the ability to scrap restrictions, with ministers considering plans to keep some measures – such as the continued use of face masks and guidance on working from home – in place.

The Government will wait until June 14 to assess the latest data before deciding whether to proceed with lifting England’s remaining restrictions the following week.

Map of the areas in the ITV Anglia region where the Covid Indian variant has been detected

The highest concentration of cases in the Eastern Counties remains in Bedford where there were 279 instances of the variant B1617.2, which was first detected in India and has now be designated the Delta variant by the World Health Organisation. There were 59 cases in Central Bedfordshire and 56 cases in Luton.

Bedford is among eight areas of England where people are being asked to take extra precautions to stop the spread of Covid. They include only meeting outside, staying at least 2 metres away from people outside your own household and limiting travel in or out of the affected area.

About half the 54 local districts in the Anglia region recorded no cases of the Indian or Delta variant in the fortnight to 22 May.

All the eight positive cases of coronavirus recorded in the Babergh area of Suffolk in the week ending 22 May were put down to the Indian variant while 93% of the cases in Central Bedfordshire were the variant.

The Anglia region consists of the East of England counties of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk along with Northamptonshire, Milton Keynes and Rutland

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