Indian variant cases up 28% in UK since Monday – as surge testing and vaccinations are expanded

Politics

There are now almost 3,000 cases of the Indian variant in the UK, the health secretary has told MPs.

Matt Hancock said 2,967 cases of the COVID-19 variant have now been recorded, having stood at more than 2,300 on Monday.

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As a result, surge testing and vaccinations will be deployed in Bedford, Burnley, Hounslow, Kirklees, Leicester and North Tyneside.

Ministers are also supporting the Scottish government, which is taking similar steps in Glasgow and Moray.

“What this means in practice is we are putting in place more testing and more testing sites,” Mr Hancock said.

“On vaccinations, we are making more vaccinations available to everyone who is eligible.”

The health secretary told MPs that in Bolton and Blackburn with Darwen, where the most cases of the variant have been recorded, 26,094 jabs and 75,000 extra tests have been administered in the last week.

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