Coronavirus: Indian variant is 'becoming the most dominant' in Hampshire - as warning issued about likely rise in cases

THE Indian variant of coronavirus is ‘becoming the most dominant’ in Hampshire with Covid cases expected to rise.

Saturday, 12th June 2021, 1:46 pm
Updated Saturday, 12th June 2021, 5:43 pm

Residents have been urged to get vaccinated as health bosses said the vaccine remains ‘the best protection we have’ against the virus.

It comes as it has been confirmed that the variant first identified in India, now known as Delta, is becoming the most dominant in Hampshire

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The Indian variant of coronavirus has taken hold in Hampshire

Meanwhile data will continued to be monitored in Southampton where the variant first detected in Kent is still the most prevalent.

According to city bosses, 17 cases of the Delta variant have been identified in Southampton but the data for the rest of Hampshire have not been confirmed.

It comes as Dr Simon Bryant, the director of public health at Hampshire County Council, said not all Covid cases across the county are genome sequenced and it would not be “accurate” to give an exact figure.

However, talking about the Delta variant he added: ‘It’s becoming the most dominant variant. The key thing is the messages are the same around how we prevent the spread of Covid. We expect to see cases rise partly because this variant spreads fast but also because we are in a different place in terms of how society is opening up.’

When asked whether that would lead to further restrictions or a lockdown he said: “We have got more people vaccinated and because of that we are in a much better position.”

He urged residents to get tested regularly, get vaccinated and follow the guidelines.

Dr Bryant added: ‘The vaccination programme has been very effective because we have had a very good uptake locally which has meant that whilst we are seeing a smaller rise in infections, we are not seeing the same in hospitalisations. As we open up we are likely to see more cases spreading but if that is not really impacting hospitalisation and people are not getting that sick that makes it easier for society to open up. We still need to be cautious. We are learning to live with this virus.’

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said the Delta variant comprises 91 per cent of new cases in the UK.