How the UK lost control of Covid-19 cases again

As coronavirus cases flatline in other Western countries, they have surged in Britain to 11,625.


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The UK’s daily rate of new Covid-19 infections stood at 150 per million people on Tuesday (22 June), the highest figure since the end of February. Some 11,625 new Covid cases were recorded that day. 

New infections have risen significantly since the end of May in marked contrast to other Western countries. The daily rate of new Covid infections in the US, France, Canada and Germany stood at 34, 33, 23 and 10 per million respectively. 

UK Covid cases are surging but flatlining in other Western countries
Daily new confirmed COVID-19 cases per million people, 7-day rolling average
Source: Johns Hopkins University

Epidemiologists cite the spread of the more infectious Delta variant, first identified in India, as the cause of the UK’s trend. Some 88 per cent of UK cases over the past four weeks were of the Delta variant, according to data from monitoring site GISAID. Other European countries are still largely recording the Alpha (or “Kent”) variant as their dominant strain. 

Ministers first learned of the Delta variant’s presence in the UK on 1 April and 42,406 people travelled between India and the UK that month. But the government only placed the country on the travel red list on 23 April despite the scale of India’s crisis having long been clear. 

Nick Ferris is a New Statesman Media Group data journalist 

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