Indian variant of covid-19 found in East Sussex
The Indian variant of covid-19 has been detected in East Sussex.
Delta (VOC-21APR-02) is currently the second most prominent strain of the virus in the UK with 12,431 confirmed cases.
According to data from the government released on Thursday (June 3) there are ‘fewer than five’ cases of the variant in Wealden and 10 infections in Brighton and Hove.
In the most recent covid-19 weekly surveillance update, director of public health Darrell Gale said, “We know the virus evolves new variants all the time and it currently looks as though the Delta variant, first recorded in India, may become the dominant strain in the UK.
“We are beginning to see some evidence that a handful of cases of the variant may have been recorded in East Sussex.
“We can certainly expect more cases to appear and we can expect overall numbers of virus cases to rise – here and across the country.
“In East Sussex, case numbers are still very low; and we all have a part to play to keep them low.”
Early evidence suggests people infected with the Delta variant may have a greater risk of being admitted to hospital compared to the country’s most prominent variant – Alpha.
Despite this Mr Gale said there is reason to believe the situation won’t be as bad as it was at the start of 2021.
Mr Gale said, “There are sound reasons to think that rising cases need not mean the same rate of severe illness and hospitalisation we saw at the start of this year.
“Three in four people in East Sussex have already had at least one dose of vaccine: everyone should make sure they get both doses as soon as it’s available to them.
“And whether or not we’ve had the vaccine, we should all still take simple precautions including getting regularly tested, limiting gatherings to those allowed by the national regulations and keeping social distance whenever possible.
“These measures should work against any variant of the virus.”