The number of cases of the Delta variant in Cornwall has been revealed as health authorities say the strain accounts for roughly 90% of new Covid-19 cases in the UK.

Public Health England has broken down the cases to Lower Tier Local Authority Level, up to Wednesday this week, June 9.

It shows that in Cornwall there have been five cases of the variant, although it is possible this may rise when the latest data is published following a significant rise in positive test results in the last three days - although it is not known which variant these are.


Cases of the Delta variant in the south west:

Bath and North East Somerset 14

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole 62

Bristol, City of 158

Cheltenham 20

Cornwall 5

Cotswold 5

Dorset 24

East Devon <5

Exeter 9

Forest of Dean 9

Gloucester 49

Mendip <5

Mid Devon <5

North Devon <5

North Somerset 15

Plymouth 5

Sedgemoor <5

Somerset West and Taunton <5

South Gloucestershire 40

South Hams <5

South Somerset <5

Stroud 14

Swindon 57

Teignbridge <5

Tewkesbury 19

Torbay 7

Torridge <5

Wiltshire 41

Public Health England (PHE) said novel genotyping tests are being used to detect the Delta (VOC-21APR-02) variant, giving a result for action within 48 hours. As cases of the variant continue to rise, the tests are helping to rapidly inform public health action.

Data from these tests is available for the first time this week, as PHE figures show that cases have risen by 29,892 to 42,323.

The data indicates that more than 90% of new Covid-19 cases in the UK are now the Delta variant, which authorities say continues to show a significantly higher rate of growth compared to the Alpha variant.

Positive tests identified through genotyping are subsequently confirmed through whole genome sequencing and PHE said recent data has shown them to be "extremely accurate" in indicating a positive variant result.

This, it said, allows earlier detection of trends and improved public health response. These results have been available to Health Protection Teams for several weeks and are already being used to develop local and national activities. Most recently, the tests allowed for the early identification of rising cases in areas including Greater Manchester and Lancashire, triggering a support package to control the variant in these areas.

New research from Public Health England suggests that the Delta variant is associated with an approximately 60% increased risk of household transmission compared to the Alpha variant. Growth rates for Delta cases are high across the regions, with regional estimates for doubling time ranging from 4.5 days to 11.5 days

However, PHE said that with this variant now accounting for the overwhelming majority of new cases in the UK, it was "encouraging to see" that the increase in cases was not yet accompanied by a similarly large increase in hospitalisations.

PHE said it will continue to monitor closely over the next few weeks, but "the data currently suggest that the vaccination programme continues to mitigate the impact of this variant in populations who have high two dose vaccine coverage."

Dr Jenny Harries, chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency, said: "With numbers of Delta variant cases on the rise across the country, vaccination is our best defence. If you are eligible, we urge you to come forward and be vaccinated. Remember that two doses provide significantly more protection than a single dose.

"However, while vaccination reduces the risk of severe disease, it does not eliminate it. With data showing that Delta is significantly more transmissible than Alpha, it is just as important as ever to follow public health advice, which has not changed.

"Get vaccinated, work from home where you can and remember 'hands, face, space, fresh air' at all times. These measures work, and they save lives."