By Rachael Grealish
Two thirds of Brits have said they are concerned about the rising cases of the Indian variant of COVID-19 (officially called B.1.617.2).
According to a survey by YouGov some 69 percent of the population say they are concerned about the rise in cases tied to the strain – including a fifth (22 percent) who are ‘very concerned’.
However, the figures showed over a quarter (27 percent ) of people are not concerned about cases of the Indian variant in the country.
Britons over the age of 65 are the most concerned, at 82 percent, including nearly three in ten of this group who are ‘very concerned’.
Half of adults aged under 25 (53 percent) are also concerned by the rising case numbers, however some 37 percent are not – the highest proportion among the age groups.
Some 3424 cases of the variant have been confirmed across the UK, up by 2111 in seven days, a rise of 160 percent.
In Cumbria it was reported last week there were ‘fewer than ten’ cases of the B.1.617.2 variant in the county’s – which also did have a rise in cases over the last week.
Regarding the figures in Cumbria, Colin Cox, Cumbria’s Director of Public Health, said: “Infections have doubled in the last week and that obviously causes us to stop and think, but at this stage we are not overly concerned.
“Our infection rate remains very low and we are not seeing any evidence in more recent provisional data that we are experiencing a continued increase.
“There has been a lot of interest in the new variant of the covid virus that is responsible for ongoing outbreaks elsewhere in the north west and we have seen a small number of cases here in Cumbria, but these have been effectively isolated so far.”
Despite this the YouGov figures showed around 44 percent of Brits still think that the 21 June is about the right time to end COVID-19 restrictions in England, with a third (33 percent) more cautious and thinking this will be too early.