There were 559 cases of the Delta coronavirus variant that was first identified in India in the Anglia region in the last week of May compared to 546 the week before.
The latest weekly figures from the Wellcome Sanger Institute in Cambridge represent just a small increase of 2% compared to the previous week. The week before that saw cases of the variant strain doubling in the Eastern Counties.
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 variant is now the dominant strain of coronavirus in the region.
The 559 cases represented about 36% 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 rising cases have 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 Monday 14 June to assess the latest data before deciding whether to proceed with lifting England’s remaining restrictions the following week.
The highest concentration of cases in the Eastern Counties remains in Bedford where there were 170 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 279 cases in Bedford in the previous week.
Elsewhere in Bedfordshire, there were 51 cases in Central Bedfordshire, a reduction of eight compared with the week before, and in Luton there were 84 cases, an increase of 28.
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.
The Delta variant was recorded in 45 of 54 local districts in the Anglia region in the week to 29 May.
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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