More than 100 further Delta variant cases identified in Lancaster
More than 100 further cases of the Delta variant of coronavirus have been recorded in Lancaster, new figures reveal.
With cases of the now dominant Delta strain, first identified in India, rising rapidly across England, vaccinations have opened up to all adults in the country in an effort to limit its spread.
Public Health England figures show 177 cases of the Delta variant had been recorded in Lancaster by June 16.
That was 105 more than the 72 cases recorded the week before.
Those identified in the latest week were among at least 29,301 cases of the variant recorded across the north west – the worst affected of England's nine regions.
By contrast, the south west had recorded at least 1,717 cases by June 16.
Separate data shows that while the Delta variant carries a higher risk of hospitalisation than the Alpha – formerly known as the Kent – variant, analysis shows that two doses of a coronavirus jab offer around 90 per cent protection against hospitalisation.
A PHE report shows 806 people had been hospitalised with the Delta variant by June 14 – an increase of 423 compared to the previous week.
Of them, 527 were unvaccinated, and only 84 had received both vaccine doses.
Dr Jenny Harries, chief executive at the UK Health Security Agency said: "It is encouraging to see that hospitalisations and deaths are not rising at the same rate but we will continue to monitor it closely.
"The vaccination programme and the care that we are all taking to follow the guidance are continuing to save lives.
"Please make sure that you come forward to receive both doses of the vaccine as soon as you are eligible.
"Don’t drop your guard – practise ‘hands, face, space, fresh air’ at all times."
The data shows that 75,953 confirmed and probable cases of the Delta variant have now been recorded in the UK – up by 33,630 (79 per cent) on the previous week. Of those, 70,856 were detected in England, 4,659 in Scotland, 254 in Northern Ireland and 184 in Wales.
The most recent data shows 99 per cent of coronavirus cases across the country are the Delta variant.
Meanwhile, latest figures show the Covid-19 infection rate in the Lancaster district has continued to rise – although numbers still remain close to the national average and far lower than many other parts of Lancashire.
193 people in Lancaster reported positive Covid tests in the seven days up to June 22 (an increase of 77 or 66.4 per cent on the previous week) – and the city currently has an infection rate of 113 based on a rolling seven-day period up to June 18.
This is based on the number of coronavirus cases per 100,000 people, and compares with an England average of 98.
And it compares favourably with areas of east Lancashire, where Blackburn has the highest infection rate in the county with 518.
As of Tuesday June 15 there were six patients in Morecambe Bay trust hospitals being treated for Covid-19, two on a ventilator.
A total of 2,023 patients with Covid-19 have been admitted to UHMBT since the pandemic began, as of June 13.
The most recent death from Covid-19 recorded within a Morecambe Bay hospital was on May 25 - the first since early April.
There have now been 96,780 people in Lancaster vaccinated with their first dose, up to June 20, while 75,504 have received their second dose.