COVID-19: Indian variant reported in 75 per cent of cases in Stevenage

Last week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson held a press conference addressing the Indian variant

Last week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson held a press conference addressing the Indian variant of coronavirus - which is now prevalent in Stevenage - stating it could 'disrupt' lockdown ending on June 21 - Credit: Archant and PA Wire/PA Images

Coronavirus cases remain low in Stevenage and North Herts - with only 10 and seven cases per 100,000 people respectively - but a significant portion of these cases are now from the more transmissible Indian variant.

Last week Prime Minister Boris Johnson held a press conference addressing the variant stating it could 'disrupt' lockdown ending on June 21.

However, during yesterday's Prime Minister's Questions, Boris Johnson did say that there is now more confidence that vaccines work on all variants.

In both Stevenage and North Herts, there were nine reported cases of COVID-19 for the week of May 9 to 15.

However, in neighbouring Central Beds, a whopping 93 cases of COVID-19 were reported, with 32 people per 100,000 infected with the virus.

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The Indian variant - B.1.617.2 - made up 75 per cent of cases in Stevenage in the week ending on May 8.

The variant is much less prevalent in North Herts, with 22.2 per cent of recorded coronavirus cases reported as being the Indian variant of the virus.

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Around 30 per cent of Central Beds' COVID cases are the B.1.617.2 strain. This comes as no surprise as neighbouring Bedford - which has hit the national headlines in recent days due to its dizzying statistics  - recorded 81.1 per cent of its cases as the Indian variant.

Bordering authority East Herts also has a notably higher rate of the variant, with 42.9 per cent for the week up to May 8. 

The data comes from the Wellcome Sanger Institute in London - which is conducting COVID-19 genome (variant) surveillance.

The remaining 25 per cent of coronavirus cases in Stevenage are the strain B.1.1.7, also known as the UK or Kent variant. North Herts and Central Beds cases of COVID-19 are predominantly this strain, recording 77.8 per cent and 69.4 per cent respectively.

No other variants of the virus are recorded in our area. Neighbouring Welwyn Hatfield, however, has reported a percentage of cases of the South African variant B.1.351, as well as strains 'A' and 'B', which have links to Wuhan.

In total there have been 6,065 cases of COVID-19 in Stevenage to May 19, just a few below North Herts' total of 6,417.

There have been 16,171 coronavirus cases in Central Beds up to the same date.

Since the pandemic began, 168 coronavirus-related deaths have been recorded in Stevenage, with a further 319 in North Herts and 658 in Central Beds registered to May 7. 

Almost 75,000 first dose vaccinations have been administered in and around North Herts, with over 45,375 recorded in Stevenage. Central Beds has seen 157,737 first dose vaccinations administered to May 9.

To view the data in more detail visit here.

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