The Department for Health has confirmed a further 17 people have died within 28 days of testing positive for COVID-19. The total number of fatalities since the start of the pandemic now stands at 127,884.
In another worrying development, the number of daily positive cases has surged by 8,125 – the biggest jump since February.
Meanwhile, the UK’s vaccination programme continues to race ahead with 201,607 more people receiving their first dose and 308,038 adults being administered their second.
In the UK, 41,088,485 people have received one vaccine and 29,165,140 others have been given both doses.
The latest coronavirus figures has sent alarm bells ringing and The Doctors’ union the British Medical Association (BMA) has called for a delay to June 21
The BMA said the UK is “not meeting the four tests” set out by the Government in order to proceed with the final stage of the roadmap.
The rise in infections comes as it is estimated 96 percent of new cases are the Delta variant, first discovered in India.
Public Health England said 42,323 cases of the Indian strain has been confirmed in the UK – up by 29,892 from the previous week.
The Delta strain, which spread like wildfire across India, is thought to be up to 60 percent more transmissible than the previously dominant Alpha, or Kent variant.
More to follow