Study: Delta Variant Triggers 50 Percent UK Covid-19 Surge

UMMATIMES - The rapid spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant has fueled a 50 per cent spike in infections in the UK since May. The figures are based on a large prevalence study led by Imperial College London on Thursday (17/6), after Prime Minister Boris Johnson delayed lifting COVID-19 restrictions.

The government said the data supported Johnson's decision to hold back on lifting COVID-19 restrictions in the UK until July 19. This is in light of the threat of the Delta variant that first appeared in India, and the need to vaccinate more people.

The most recent round of the REACT-1 prevalence survey, conducted between May 20 and June 7, found a prevalence of 0.15 percent compared with 0.10 percent in the last data set from late April to early May.

"The prevalence is exponentially rising, driven by younger age, and appears to be doubling every 11 days. Obviously, this is bad news," Steven Riley, professor of infectious diseases at Imperial College London, told reporters. , Thursday (17/6).

The study is the largest prevalence survey in the UK, with 109,000 participants tested in the latest round. Riley added that the UK's high vaccination rate makes it difficult to predict how long the exponential growth will last.

He said the rapid rollout of vaccinations to younger age groups should have slowed it down. More than half of the adult population in the UK have received the full dose of the vaccine, and more than three-quarters of adults have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Although the COVID-19 Delta variant substantially reduces the efficacy of a single dose of vaccine against mild symptoms. However, two doses still provide strong protection against severe disease, as preliminary evidence suggests.

"These findings highlight the actual context in which we took the difficult decision to delay the Step 4 roadmap out of lockdown," said Health Secretary Matt Hancock, referring to the removal of the UK's last remaining restrictions.

"We must all hold our courage a little longer as our vaccine rollout continues," he said.