LONDON — A new coronavirus variant is under investigation in the United Kingdom, the government said in a press statement on Friday.
With 16 cases confirmed so far, experts at Public Health England are analyzing the new variant. There is no evidence to imply the strain makes the vaccines any less effective.
The cases mainly linked to overseas travel have shown no evidence of community transmission in the UK, PHE added as it published weekly coronavirus data on Friday.
New data shows cases of the Delta variant in the UK have risen by 33,716 since last week to a total of 286,765.
Of these, 45 are the Delta AY.1 sub-lineage. The Delta variant of the virus currently accounts for approximately 99 percent of cases across the UK.
PHE also published the latest hospitalizations data showing that between June 21 and July 19, 1,788 people were hospitalized after testing positive for the delta variant.
PHE also published updated risk assessments for the Delta and Beta variants. The Delta risk assessment has been updated to reflect early signs of increased risk of reinfection with Delta compared to Alpha.
Two doses of vaccine are clearly far more effective against COVID-19 than a single dose.