Delta Covid-19 variant to blame for 50% rise in English cases: Study

LONDON : The rapid spread of the Delta variant has led to a 50 per cent rise in Covid-19 infections in England since May, a large prevalence study led by Imperial College London found yesterday after Prime Minister Boris Johnson delayed the end of restrictions.

The government said the data supported Mr Johnson's decision to push back the ending of curbs to July 19, citing the threat of the Delta variant first identified in India and the need to vaccinate more people.

"Prevalence is increasing exponentially, driven by younger ages... and it appears to be doubling every 11 days. Clearly, that is bad news," professor of infectious disease dynamics Steven Riley of Imperial College London said.

The study is one of the largest prevalence surveys in Britain, with 109,000 volunteers tested in its latest round. - REUTERS