Cases of the Covid-19 Delta variant have risen in the Cotswolds and Wiltshire, with the mutation now responsible for 90 per cent of all new cases in the UK.
New research from Public Health England suggests that the Delta variant could have a 60 per cent increased risk of household transmission compared to the Alpha (Kent) variant.
Up until June 2 between one and four cases of the Covid-19 strain, also referred to as the Indian variant due to where it was first identified, had been recorded in the Cotswolds – the exact number was supressed to avoid identifying patients.
The total number of cases has risen to five, according to the latest data available from Public Health England, while cases have risen from 15 to 41 in Wiltshire.
Dr Jenny Harries, Chief Executive of the UK Health Security Agency, said: “With numbers of Delta variant cases on the rise across the country, vaccination is our best defence.
“If you are eligible, we urge you to come forward and be vaccinated. Remember that two doses provide significantly more protection than a single dose.
“However, while vaccination reduces the risk of severe disease, it does not eliminate it. With data showing that Delta is significantly more transmissible than Alpha, it is just as important as ever to follow public health advice, which has not changed.
“Get vaccinated, work from home where you can and remember “hands, face, space, fresh air” at all times. These measures work, and they save lives.”
Cases of coronavirus have been rising across the UK, with more than 8,000 recorded on Friday, June 11.
In the week ending June 6, there were 26.7 cases per 100,000 people in the Cotswolds.
Public Health England are using novel genotyping tests to detect the Delta variant, providing a result within 48 hours.
Positive tests identified through genotyping are subsequently confirmed through whole genome sequencing and recent data have shown them to be extremely accurate in indicating a positive variant result.
PHE said they will continue to monitor closely over the next few weeks, but the data currently suggest that the vaccination programme continues to mitigate the impact of this variant in populations who have high two dose vaccine coverage.