MORE than 500 cases of the Delta Covid variant have been identified in the BCP area after doubling in just one week.

A total of 508 cases were recorded across the conurbation up to Wednesday, June 23, according to the latest data from Public Health England.

It is the second highest in the south west after Bristol which had 754 cases.

Figures released by the health authority last week showed that 254 cases of the Delta variant had been recorded in BCP up to Wednesday, June 16.

The wider Dorset area saw 224 cases recorded up to June 23 after recording 85 previously.

Public Health England’s weekly data show that numbers of the Delta variant in the UK have risen by 35,204 since last week to a total of 111,157. 

The Delta variant accounted for approximately 95 per cent of sequenced and 92 per cent genotyped cases from 7 to 21 June 2021.

Dr Jenny Harries, chief executive for the UK Health Security Agency said: "Cases are rising rapidly across the country and the Delta variant is now dominant. The increase is primarily in younger age groups, a large proportion of which were unvaccinated but are now being invited to receive the vaccine.

"It is encouraging to see that hospitalisations and deaths are not rising at the same rate but we will continue to monitor it closely. The vaccination programme and the care that we are all taking to follow the guidance are continuing to save lives.

"Please make sure that you come forward to receive both doses of the vaccine as soon as you are eligible. Don’t drop your guard – practise ‘hands, face, space, fresh air’ at all times."

As of June 21, there have been 117 deaths in England of people who were confirmed as having the Delta variant and who died within 28 days of a positive test.

Of this number, eight were under the age of 50 and 109 were over 50.

Of the 109 over 50, 38 were unvaccinated, one was within 21 days of a first dose of vaccine, 17 more than 21 days after one dose of vaccine and 50 had received both doses.

Of the eight under 50, two were more than 21 days after a first dose of vaccine and six were unvaccinated.