The Health Secretary has said on Thursday that the Indian variant now comprises of 91% of Covid cases in the UK.
Giving evidence to the Science and Health Committees, Matt Hancock told MPs that the rise of the Indian variant is due to an assessment he saw on Wednesday evening.
Dr Hans Kluge of the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that the Indian variant, which is officially called Delta, that virus had shown signs of being able to evade some vaccines.
Dr Kluge said, “We have been here before.
“Over the course of last summer, cases gradually rose in younger age groups and then moved into older age groups, contributing to a devastating resurgence.”
The number of people testing positive in England has risen by 45% in a week and rapid testing levels have fallen to their lowest levels since March.
On Thursday the latest trace and trace figures published shows that 25,091 people were positive at least once in the week to 2 June in England, up 45% compared to the week before.
Across the whole of the UK cases were up by 74% in a week, which is the highest level since 27 February.
Professor Neil Fergusson of Imperial College London, warned the work by the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling (SPI-M) is basically “saying there is a risk of a substantial third wave, we cannot be definitive about the scale of that, it could be substantially lower than the second wave, or it could be of the same order of magnitude.
“That, critically, depends on how effective the vaccines still are protecting people against hospitalisation and death against the Delta variant, as well as a few other unknowns.”