Delta variant fuelled 50% jump in UK Covid cases: Study
The government said that the data supported UK Prime Minster Boris Johnson's decision to delay the easing of restrictions to July 19, citing the variant and the need to vaccinate more people before the country can open fully.
The latest study conducted by the Imperial College in London has found that the rapid spread of the Delta variant of the Coronavirus has caused a 50% rise in infections in England since May after Prime Minster Boris Johnson delayed the ending of restrictions.
The government said that the data supported Johnson's decision to delay the easing of restrictions to July 19, citing the variant and the need to vaccinate more people before the country can open fully.
The recent round of the REACT-1 prevalence survey, which was conducted between May 20 and June 7, found prevalence was 0.15%, compared to 0.10% in the last set of data from late April to early May.
Steven Riley, professor of infectious disease dynamics at the Imperial College, London, told reporters, said the prevalence is increasing exponentially, driven by younger ages, and it appears to be doubling every 11 days.
The study is one of the largest prevalence surveys conducted in Britain, with 109,000 volunteers tested in its last round.
Riley further said that Britain's high levels of vaccination made it harder to predict how long that exponential growth would last and added that the rapid rollout of vaccine doses to younger age groups should slow it down.
In Britain, over half the adult population has received both doses of the vaccinations and have been fully vaccinated, and more than three-quarters of the adults have received their first dose.
Although the Delta variant is shown to substantially reduce the effectiveness of one dose of the vaccine against mild infection, early evidence has shown that two doses are found to provide good protection against severe disease.
British Health Minister Matt Hancock said the findings highlight the stark context in which the government took the difficult decision to delay Step 4 of the roadmap out of lockdown.
Hancock further said that people must hold their nerve that little bit longer even as vaccine rollouts continued.