Call to drive down 'worrying trend' after more than 200 further cases of Delta variant recorded in South Tyneside after borough sees third highest rise in covid cases in England
A health chief has called on people to get vaccinated and stay safe amid a ‘worrying trend’ after more than 200 more cases of the Delta variant were recorded in South Tyneside.
Public Health England figures show 551 cases of the Delta variant – first identified in India – had been recorded in South Tyneside by June 30.
That was 203 more than the 348 Delta variant cases recorded the week before.
Overall, in the seven days to June 27, South Tyneside recorded 569 new covid cases, the equivalent of 376.9 per 100,000.
That was a rise from 226 new cases in the previous seven days, a rate of 149.7 per 100,000.
Across England, only Tamworth, up from 80.8 to 445.9 and Oxford, rising from 74.8 to 340.4, have seen steeper rises in their weekly count of new cases.
Tom Hall, Director of Public Health, said: “We are seeing increasing numbers of infections across South Tyneside in unvaccinated people, driven by the more transmissible Delta variant.
"The number of infections in the borough, and across the region, have been rising rapidly.
"If we are to drive down this worrying trend, then it is vital that everyone continues to play their part.
"The covid vaccines have been shown to be highly effective, so please get yours and the second dose too.
"Also, continue to follow the public health guidance around hands, face, space and fresh air. Each and every one us needs to take personal responsibility to follow the guidance and avoid making it easy for the virus to spread.
"We have lived with restrictions on our freedoms for a long time but we need to be resilient. We are in charge of our own destiny and I would urge people to get vaccinated and keep doing the right thing to ensure our communities are as safe as possible."
The UK Health Security Agency is urging all those eligible to get a vaccine to break the chain of transmission.
Across the UK, 50,824 more cases were recorded in the last week to reach a total of 161,981 – a 46% increase.
Of these, 42 are the so-called Delta plus variant, which India’s health ministry has said spreads more easily, binds more easily to lung cells and is potentially resistant to some drug therapy which can help neutralise the virus.
Three weeks ago, a total of 42,323 cases of the Delta variant had been identified in the UK, meaning the number has now increased almost four-fold.
But while the Delta variant now accounts for around 95% of new cases sequenced in the UK, the number of people being hospitalised with the infection is not rising proportionally.
Dr Jenny Harries, chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency, said: "The data suggest this is testament to the success of the vaccination programme so far and clearly demonstrates the importance of getting both doses of the vaccine.
"Come forward as soon as you are eligible. It will help us to break the chain of transmission, and it will save lives."
She added that the best thing people could do to protect themselves and loved ones from Covid-19 was to get the vaccine, if eligible, and get tested twice a week.
"Practice ‘hands, face, space, fresh air’ at all times," she said.