UK authorities have identified 2,323 Covid cases of the new Indian variant, B.1.617.2, which is highly transmissible.
On Monday, Matt Hancock, Health Secretary informed the House of Commons that 86 different local authorities have identified at least 5 people with the new strain.
According to Hancock, the virus's Indian variant is now the dominant strain in Bolton, Blackburn, and Darwen in northwestern England, where the number of cases have surged in the previous week. He informed the house that most people affected with the new variant didn't take the vaccination. He further added that the vaccine was effective against this strain and urged people in the eligible group to take the jab.
"The vaccination program can give us confidence but we must be alert to new variants that can jeopardize the advances that we've made," Hancock said. "We must proceed with caution and care and bear down on the virus, in whatever form it attacks us," reported Bloomberg.
On May 17, the Prime Minister announced a few relaxations on the lockdown and cautioned the public to still take precautions and follow the hygiene protocol. As of May 17, the active cases in the UK stand at 45,805 and 127,684 people have succumbed to Covid-19 in total.
The World Health Organization has classified the new Indian variant, B.1.617, as a "variant of concern" after it was discovered in India last year.
B1.617.1, B1.617.2, and B1.617.3 are the three sub-lineages of B1.617. The first two were discovered in 34 and 31 countries, respectively, while B1.617.3 was detected in four countries.
Also Read: Covishield, Covaxin Vaccines Less Effective Against B.1.617 Coronavirus Strain: Indian Council of Medical Research