Health Secretary Matt Hancock told a Select Committee hearing the Delta variant now accounts for 91 per cent of Covid cases in Britain. Hancock also told the Committee that news reports on Spanish care homes influenced his decisions on care homes in the UK at the start of the pandemic.
Hancock denied knowledge of reported guidance by Public Health England officials in March 2020 over mandatory Covid tests and said he made his decisions about care homes after watching news footage of abandoned care homes in Spain in which residents had died.
“Each and every death in a care home weighs heavily on me and always will,” he said.
“The clinical advice was that a test on somebody who didn’t have any symptoms could easily return a false negative and therefore give false assurance. Clinicians were worried that because it took four days to turn a test around that if you leave somebody in hospital those four days, they might catch Covid and therefore go back to a care home with a negative test result but having caught it,” he added.
Also released on June 10, the UK’s National influenza and Covid-19 report, which monitors coronavirus activity, seasonal flu and other seasonal respiratory illnesses, cases are rising in young people.
Its main findings include:
- Surveillance indicators suggest that at a national level, Covid-19 activity increased in week 22 of 2021.
- Case rates have increased in most age groups with the biggest increase seen in younger groups.
- Case rates in week 22 were highest in those aged 20 to 29, with a case rate of 121.0 per 100,000 population.
- The lowest case rates were seen in those aged 80 and over with a rate of 6.7 per 100,000 population.
- Although case rates have risen in those aged over 60, these have been small increases.
- Case rates per 100,000 in week 22 were highest in the North West, at 149.6.
- Case rates per 100,000 in week 22 were lowest in the South West, with a rate of 20.8.
- The number of acute respiratory infection incidents (suspected outbreaks) in England was 287 in week 22, compared to 280 in the previous week.
- The hospital admission rate for Covid-19 is 1.09 per 100,000 in week 22, compared to 0.90 per 100,000 in the previous week.
- Hospital admission rates for Covid-19 in week 22 were highest in the West Midlands with a rate of 1.62.
- The highest hospital admission rates continue to be those aged 85 and above.
Dr Yvonne Doyle, Medical Director at Public Health England, said, “Once again we are seeing cases rapidly rise across the country and the Delta variant is now dominant. The increase is primarily in younger age groups who are yet to receive the vaccine and we are seeing more hospital admissions.
“The vaccine rollout is a huge success, however there are many millions who still need one or two doses and protection is not immediate. Therefore, follow the guidance and remember it is safer outside. Practise good hand hygiene and wear face coverings in enclosed spaces,” she added.
Thank you for reading, and don’t forget to check The Euro Weekly News for all your up-to-date local and international news stories.