246 more cases of Delta variant in South Tyneside as area's case rate remains highest in country
Hundreds further cases of the Delta variant of coronavirus have been recorded in South Tyneside over the last week as the borough's case rate remains the highest in the country
However the UK Health Security Agency said the sharp increase in cases seen across England is not being followed by a similar increase in hospitalisation and death.
Public Health England figures show 797 cases of the Delta variant – first identified in India – had been recorded in South Tyneside by July 7.
That was 246 more than the 551 cases recorded the week before.
Those identified in the latest week were among 13,311 cases of the variant recorded across the North East – the sixth-worst affected of England's nine regions.
South Tyneside continues to have the highest rate in England, with 1,651 new cases in the seven days to July 5, the equivalent of 1,093.6 per 100,000 people.
This is up sharply from 432.5 in the seven days to June 28.
It is the first time any local area of the UK has recorded a rate higher than 1,000 per 100,000 since January 18, when Knowsley in Merseyside recorded a rate of 1,012.8.
South Tyneside is some way ahead of the area with the second highest rate in the UK, Dundee, which is now on 874.6 cases per 100,000 people.
All figures have been calculated by the PA news agency from health agency data published on Friday afternoon.
South Tyneside and Sunderland Trust was caring for 28 coronavirus patients in hospital as of July 6, figures show.
PHE said the Delta variant currently accounts for around 99% of cases that are sequenced in the UK.
Dr Jenny Harries, chief executive of the UKHSA, said: "The data continues to show that the sharp increase in cases that we are seeing is not being followed by a similar increase in hospitalisation and death.
"This is because two doses of the available vaccines offer a high level of protection against the Delta variant.
"Getting both jabs is the best way to ensure you and the people you love remain safe, so we once again urge everyone to come forward as soon as they are eligible."
Different PHE figures show that up to June 21, the majority of people admitted to hospital with the Delta variant in England were unvaccinated – around three-quarters of those under 50, and a third of those aged 50 and above.
As of June 21, there had been 257 deaths in England of people who were confirmed as having this strain of coronavirus and who died within 28 days of a positive test.