Map shows what proportion of North East’s Covid cases are Delta variant

The Delta variant accounts for 100% of coronavirus cases in Sunderland, new figures suggest.

The latest data reveals that all the city’s Covid-19 cases in the two weeks to June 15 have been the B.1.617.2 variant.

An interactive map released by the Wellcome Sanger Institute shows what proportion of an area’s coronavirus cases is the Delta variant.

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The institute’s map shows that in Gateshead, North Tyneside and South Tyneside, the Delta strain accounted for more than 80% of new Covid cases in that two-week period.

The variant, first detected in India, made up 73.3% of new cases in County Durham, 66.7% in Northumberland, and 641.% in Newcastle.

Yesterday Boris Johnson announced that the lifting of lockdown measures would not take place this month as expected, but would be pushed back until July 19.

The PM said the country’s “roadmap” out of restrictions had been derailed by the virulent Delta variant, which is now the dominant strain across the country.

While the coronavirus vaccines still work against the mutant strain, it is 40% more infectious than the previously dominant Alpha variant and 2.6 times more likely to hospitalise an infected person.

Mr Hancock said on Monday that 1.3 million people who are over 50 and 4.5 million over 40s have so far had a first jab but not yet a second.

A previous study by Public Health England (PHE) found that the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine is 88% effective against the Delta variant after two doses and the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab was 60%.

Both vaccines were 33% effective against symptomatic disease from the Delta variant, which was first found in India, three weeks after the first dose.

A separate study found that Covid-19 vaccines are “highly effective” in preventing hospital admission with the Delta variant of coronavirus.

PHE’s study of hospital admissions found that the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is 94% effective against hospital admission after just one dose, rising to 96% after two doses.

And the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is 71% effective against hospital admission after just one dose, rising to 92% after two doses.

Scientists had warned that the rapidly spreading Delta variant, which was first identified in India, would lead to a “significant” rise in hospital admissions if stage four of England’s road map went ahead as planned on June 21.

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New figures show a total of 1,136 patients with Covid-19 were in hospital in the UK on June 13 – up 18% from a week earlier, and the highest number since May 7.

The figures were published on Tuesday afternoon on the Government’s coronavirus dashboard.

At the peak of the second wave of the virus, the number of hospital patients with Covid-19 in the UK stood at a record 39,249, on January 18.

Separate figures from NHS England show the number of patients in hospital in England is above 1,000 for the first time since May 5.

A total of 1,030 patients were in hospital as of 8am on June 15 – up 17% from a week ago.

Meanwhile, Michael Gove has said something “unprecedented and remarkable” would need to happen for England’s July 19 “terminus date” for lifting Covid restrictions to be pushed back.

He said he shares Mr Johnson’s confidence that July 19 will see the final easing of lockdown measures, with the four-week delay announced on Monday buying more time for people to receive vaccinations.

Some Tory MPs have reacted with fury to the delay, and the news was described as a “devastating blow” for the night-time industry.

Chronicle Live – Sunderland