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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - LONDON — Cases of coronavirus variant first identified in India are continuing to soar across the United Kingdom, with more than 33,000 more infections recorded in the last week alone.
Public Health England (PHE) confirmed on Friday that UK cases of the highly transmissible Delta strain first spotted in India have jumped to 75,953 in total — up by 33,630, or 79 percent, on the previous week.
The most recent data shows 99 percent of confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus across the country are the Delta variant.
The rise in cases of Delta variant comes as the vaccination campaign continues to be in full swing with 4 in 5 adults receiving the first dose of the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine in the country.
According to government figures, over 42 million first doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered across the UK.
With 72,891,861 doses administered in total, 42,216,654 people across the country have now been vaccinated with a first dose (80 percent), while 30,675,207 people have had both doses (58 percent), the government said in a press statement.
Commenting on the vaccination program in the country, Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “We’re accelerating our vaccine program by reducing the time between doses for all people aged 40 and over to 8 weeks and the NHS will open invites for everyone aged 18 and above later this week. So if you get the call, get the jab to fight this virus.
“Our successful vaccination program is weakening the link between cases and hospitalizations. The latest evidence shows that 2 doses are needed to provide effective protection against the Delta variant.”
“To ensure people have the strongest possible protection against COVID-19, second doses for all over the 40s will be accelerated by reducing the dosing interval from 12 weeks to 8 weeks,” Hancock added.
The move follows advice from the independent experts at the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI), which has considered the latest available evidence and has recommended reducing the dosing interval to counter the threat of new variants of concern. — Agencies
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