Coronavirus case rates have increased across every region in England with the sharpest rise seen in the northwest, new figures from Public Health England show.
Earlier, the head of the UK’s Health Security Agency warned the UK was going in the wrong direction on Covid-19 cases, with pockets of unvaccinated people in some areas remaining at risk.
Dr Jenny Harries, chief executive of the new body set up in the wake of the pandemic, said it was still too early to make a decision on ending lockdown on 21 June and the next week would be crucial.
The health chief’s warning came as Matt Hancock revealed the Delta variant of coronavirus is now responsible for 91 per cent of new UK cases, as he took part in a Commons committee hearing about his efforts in the pandemic response.
In evidence to MPs, the health secretary also disclosed that the government was warned in January last year that as many as 820,000 people could die in the UK due to the virus. By early March, he said, it was clear that the development of the outbreak was pointing towards the worst-case scenario coming true if no action was taken.