UK Covid cases surge to 16,135 in highest rise in almost 5 MONTHS and deaths at 19 amid ‘Delta Plus’ variant fears

COVID cases in the UK today jumped by 16,135 – the highest number of new infections in six weeks.

The total number of cases since the pandemic began now stands at 4,667,870.

Covid cases have risenCredit: LNP

Today’s rise in infections is the highest number of daily cases since February 6 when 18,262 were reported.

It is also higher than yesterday’s figure of 11,625 as the Delta variant continues to grip the UK.

Deaths also rose by 19 – bringing the total to 128,027 – which is lower than yesterday’s 27 fatalities.

It comes amid fears over a new “Delta Plus” variant that could be more transmissible than the original mutation.

Around 41 cases of the mutation, previously dubbed the “Nepal variant”, are being closely monitored in the UK.

Delta Plus has been found in nine other countries – USA, India, Portugal, Switzerland, Japan, Poland, Nepal, Russia and China.

PHE is not calling it “Delta Plus”, and said the World Health Organisation is considering it simply part of Delta, but is monitoring the cases.

Dr Andrew Lee, Covid Incident Director at Public Health England, said: “PHE has had additional control measures in place for weeks where cases of Delta variant with K417N (AY.1) are detected including enhanced contact tracing, rapid testing and isolation.

“41 cases in total have been identified in England. Active investigation of cases and clusters will ensure our public health response remains fast and proportionate. 

“We are continuing investigations to better understand the significance of K417N in addition to Delta.

“PHE will continue to closely monitor and assess all changes in the virus as they naturally emerge, given the overall large number of COVID cases globally.”

More to follow…

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