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Indian variant becomes dominant in the UK, with nearly 7,000 cases recorded

Indian variant becomes dominant in the UK, with nearly 7,000 cases recorded

Up to three-quarters of all new coronavirus cases are now thought to be the Indian variant, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said.

The variant, officially known as the B.1.617.2 variant of concern, is believed to be more transmissible than previous variants of the virus and is now the dominant variant in Britain. 

Cases of the variant rose by 3,535 in the last week, meaning 6,959 cases have now been recorded, according to official figures. 

In recent days, the total number of COVID-19 cases reported in the UK on a daily basis has been on the rise, with 3,542 cases reported on Thursday. In the last 7 days, cases of COVID-19 in the UK have increased by 20.5%, though case rates in most areas remain very low. 

The most recent 7-day coronavirus case rate for the UK was 24.9 cases per 100,000 people.

Cases had been expected to rise, with more people socialising and travelling than before the latest lockdown easements took place on 17 May. 

Whether lockdown restrictions will be removed on 21 June remains uncertain, with scientists suggesting it may be some weeks before enough data is available to make a final decision. 

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