Welcome to “Delta Land”: after having been the incubator of the “English” variant (renamed Alpha), in autumn 2020, the United Kingdom is now the European country with the highest number of contaminations by the Delta variant ( identified in India). The latter is largely dominant: between June 7 and 21, according to the latest report from Public Health England (the English health agency), the Delta variant appeared in 95% of sequenced cases of the virus. No one disputes that it is at the origin of a third epidemic wave: Monday, June 28, 22,868 positive cases had been recorded over the last twenty-four hours throughout the United Kingdom and, Tuesday, June 29 , again 20,479 cases, an increase of 72.8% over the last seven days.
However, Sajid Javid, the new British Minister of Health, was clear on Monday: no question of postponing again “Freedom Day”, now set for July 19. On this date, the last restrictions in place in England (wearing a mask, closing nightclubs, etc.) should finally be lifted. “Irreversibly”. The “day of freedom” was initially scheduled for June 21 but the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, preferred to postpone it by one month in view of the epidemic outbreak. “We will have to learn to live with the virus, we cannot eliminate it”, has justified the ex-chancellor of the exchequer of Mr. Johnson.
It is true that the mounting clinical data shows that vaccines have drastically reduced the number of hospitalizations and deaths linked to the coronavirus, as almost 62% of UK adults are now fully vaccinated. Tuesday, 23 deaths were counted over the last twenty-four hours, or 118 over a week. Hospitalizations are progressing, but much slower than during the second wave, with 1,604 admissions over the last seven days, up only 10.7% from the previous week. Although experts are convinced of the greater transmissivity of the Delta variant (about 60% greater than that of the Alpha variant), they also find that the vaccines remain very effective – at least to avoid hospitalizations.
Vaccines saved the lives of 27,000 people
Certainly, the cases of infection in people who had their two doses of vaccine have not disappeared: Andrew Marr, star journalist of the BBC, told on the air, Sunday, June 27, to have caught the variant Delta “Probably at the G7 in Cornwall” and have been seriously ill, despite two doses of Pfizer-BioNtech. “I wasn’t acting unconsciously but felt invulnerable. “ Fifty deaths of double vaccinated people, all over the age of 50, have also been reported.
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