R-number on the rise, Delta variant cases on the rise, world leaders pledge to roll out vaccine globally
These are the UK coronavirus stories you need to know today.
The R number increases
England’s R number rose to between 1.2 and 1.4, up from 1.0 and 1.2 last week.
The latest range of growth was + 3% to + 6%, the Department of Health and Social Affairs (DHSC) said.
The highest range was observed in the northwest where the R number was 1.3 to 1.5.
North East and Yorkshire had the lowest R-number between 1.0 and 1.2
The DHSC said care should be taken when interpreting the estimates because they were based on a low number of cases, hospitalizations or deaths, and could include clusters of outbreaks seen with the Delta variant.
On Fri 11 June, 8,125 new cases and 17 deaths within 28 days of a positive test were reported across the UK.
— Public Health England (@PHE_uk) June 11, 2021
The increase in the R number coincided with an analysis by Public Health England (PHE) which found that 42,323 cases of the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 originating in India had been confirmed in the UK, up from 29,892 compared to the previous week. .
The assessment found that the Delta variant of concern “continues to demonstrate a significantly increased growth rate compared to Alpha”, the variant first detected in Kent. The latest research suggests an approximately 60% increased risk of domestic transmission compared to the Alpha variant.
Data shows that over 90% of new COVID-19 cases in the UK are now the Delta variant.
Delta variant cases are estimated to double every four and a half days in parts of England, the data shows.
Although early evidence suggested that the Delta variant was likely to result in more hospitalizations than the Alpha variant, an increase in cases had not been accompanied by a similar increase in the number of hospital admissions, a declared PHE.
One analysis suggested a 15-20% reduction in vaccine effectiveness after one dose for the Delta variant compared to the Alpha variant. The vaccine’s efficacy was higher after two doses, although there was uncertainty about the efficacy against the Delta variant after two doses of the AstraZeneca / Oxford vaccine.
Dr Jenny Harries, Managing Director of the UK Health Security Agency, said: “With the number of Delta variant cases on the rise across the country, vaccination is our best defense. If you are eligible, we urge you to show up and get vaccinated Remember that two doses offer significantly more protection than one dose.
“However, while vaccination reduces the risk of serious disease, it does not eliminate it. With data showing that Delta is significantly more transmissible than Alpha, it is more important than ever to follow public health advice, which does not have not changed. “
Of the total number of Delta cases, 39,061 have been confirmed in England, 3,035 in Scotland, 184 in Wales and 43 in Northern Ireland.
Increase in positive tests
The percentage of people testing positive for COVID-19 continued to increase during the week ending June 5, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Statisticians have estimated that:
In England, an estimated 96,800 people, or 0.18%, in the community’s population had COVID-19, which equates to around 1 in 560 people.
In Wales 2,300 people had COVID, which equates to around 1 in 1,300 people
In Northern Ireland, 2,600 people had COVID, or about 1 in 700 people
In Scotland, an estimated 9,700 people have COVID, which equates to around 1 in 540 people
Cases of the Alpha variant were no longer predominant in England, the ONS said.
Sarah Crofts, COVID-19 Infections Investigation Analytical Results Manager, said: “Infections are still low compared to what we saw in January, when they were about 12 times the level we are currently observing. However, they have recently increased and are now similar to the levels we last saw in April. “
“Delay the lifting of COVID restrictions”
The lifting of the last COVID restrictions in England on June 21 should be delayed to avoid “reversing the significant progress we have made,” a public health official said.
Jim McManus, vice president of the Association of Public Health Directors, said that despite the success of the vaccination program that “severed the link” between COVID cases and deaths, new variants, especially Delta, had “made the race for vaccination even tighter”.
He suggested that we should maintain some of the infection prevention and control measures that were now standard in the UK.
“Patience now will pay off in the long run,” he said.
Boris Johnson must decide whether or not to continue the final leg of the non-containment roadmap this weekend, with a decision expected on Monday next week.
Reports suggest the government may opt for a 2-4 week delay to allow the vaccination program to progress further.
Vaccines for the world
As G7 leaders begin a summit in Cornwall, Prime Minister Boris Johnson reiterated his goal of delivering one billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines to developing countries to get everyone around the world immunized by the end next year.
The UK would donate at least 100 million excess vaccine doses over the next year, including 5 million from the coming weeks, Mr Johnson said. The 100 million figure was calculated based on the total needed to vaccinate the UK population, “taking into account the possibility that future vaccine-resistant strains will be detected and potential disruptions to our supply,” the number 10 explained. .
US President Joe Biden has said the United States will purchase half a billion Pfizer / BioNTech vaccines for low-income countries, with distribution starting in August. There would be “no conditions,” he promised.
The president said America would be the “vaccine arsenal” in the global fight against COVID.
Young people more eager to travel abroad
Official figures showed 12% of adults said they planned to go on a trip abroad before September. More than 7 in 10 people said the trip was for vacation, the ONS found.
Most of the data was collected before Portugal moved from Green List to Orange List on June 8.
Younger people were more likely to have planned a trip abroad. 16% of 30-49 year olds were headed by foreign destinations, against 8% for those 70 and over.
Wearing face covers and providing proof of vaccination was generally accepted as a necessary part of overseas travel, but quarantine measures once back in the UK were much less popular.
The data also showed that people left their homes for a wider range of activities after the restrictions were lifted.
The proportion of people who reported maintaining social distancing from people outside their household fell to 68% in the week ending June 6, from 74% the week before.
Average happiness over the past week has risen to 7.3 out of 10, the first time it has surpassed the pre-pandemic level since May 2020, when it was 7.4, the ONS reported .
Average anxiety improved slightly to 3.6 out of 10.
However, overall life satisfaction at 7.0 and a feeling that the accomplishments in life were worth it, at 7.3, both remained lower than they were before the pandemic.
Oxford Vaccine Capillary Leak Syndrome Warning
People who have previously suffered from capillary leak syndrome should not be vaccinated with the AstraZeneca / Oxford vaccine, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said.
It followed a review of 6 cases of rare syndrome in people who received the vaccine.
Most cases have occurred in women and within 4 days of vaccination. Three of those affected had a history of capillary leak syndrome and one of them subsequently died.
Capillary leak syndrome should be added to product information as a new vaccine side effect, along with a warning to educate healthcare professionals and patients about the risk, the EMA said.
See more global coronavirus updates in the Medscape Coronavirus Resource Center.