By Rachael Grealish
Cumbria County Council’s Director of Public Health has confirmed there are ‘fewer than ten’ cases of the Indian COVID-19 variant in the county.
Colin Cox made the announcement today, Monday May 17, the same day lockdown measures eased across the country.
He said: “A small number of cases of the Indian variant of Coronavirus have been confirmed in Cumbria today.
“The current number of confirmed positive cases is fewer than 10. At present there is no change to our advice but we are monitoring the situation closely.”
The variant, actually named B.1.617.2, is said to be more transmissible, the Prime Minister said at his briefing on Friday, May 14, but the government is unsure how much so.
Boris Johnson said: “At this stage there is some important unknowns. We believe this variant is more transmissible, than the previous one – in other words it passes more easily from person to person – but we don’t know how much.
“I’m told that if it’s only marginally we can continue more or less as planned but if the variant is significantly more transmissible we’re going to be face with some hard choices.”
However, he did go on to say there is ‘no evidence to suggest our vaccines will be less effective in protecting people against severe illness and hospitalisation’.
There are now over 1,000 cases of the variant throughout 86 local authorities in England.