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NEWLY REPORTED COVID-19 CASES IN LAST 24 HOURS (6.16.2021, 10:50am CEST, WHO):   U.S. 11,180    India 60,471    Brazil 39,846    Turkey 5,626    Russia 14,185    The United Kingdom 7,606    Argentina 21,292    Columbia 24,376    Iran 10,216    Mexico 1,175    Ukraine 1,014    Indonesia 8,161    South Africa 5,548    Chile 4,576    Canada 1,159    Philippines 5,389    Iraq 4,618    Bangladesh 3,319    Japan 1,336    Malaysia 5,419    Nepal 1,681    United Arab Emirates 2,127    Saudi Arabia 1,269    Bolivia 2,752    Paraguay 2,046    Tunisia 1,997    Georgia 1,092    Uruguay 2,305    Kuwait 1,487    Guatemala 1,740    Venezuela 1,197    Oman 2,126    Sri Lanka 2,334    Thailand 3,000    Cuba 1,537    Zambia 1,388    Mongolia 2,386    Uganda 1,122    China 158    Singapore 14    New Zealand 2    Australia 12    South Korea 545   

Indian COVID variant spreads fast in England

Christian Fernsby |
Officials in areas across the UK are increasingly concerned about the number of cases of the highly infectious Indian coronavirus variant.

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Transmission is rising in Bolton, Blackburn and Sefton, all in north-western England, and in London and Glasgow, leading to concerns the country’s roadmaps out of Covid-19 restrictions could be derailed.

Mohammed Khan, leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council, told i the authority is working closely with Public Health England and NHS Test and Trace to arrange a “programme of additional PCR testing and enhanced contact tracing for the area”.

Kate Hollern, the Labour MP for Blackburn, called the rising number of cases across parts of the North West “incredibly worrying”.

“Blackburn’s Public Health Team have deployed contact tracers to households that have tested positive for Covid,” she said. However, Ms Hollern went on to say contact tracing efforts are being undermined because positive test results are not being received quick enough.

Meanwhile, the Labour MP for Sefton Central criticised the Government, claiming it had failed to put in place a robust quarantine system. Bill Esterson said: “Sefton Council is working closely with Public Health England to contain this outbreak, which is likely to be linked to travel from India to other parts of North West England.”

In London, cases of the variant first detected in India have been detected across the city, according to officials. Professor Kevin Fenton, the London regional director for Public Health England, said work is underway to curb variant cases through “increased targeted testing, enhanced contact tracing and genomic sequencing of all positive tests with a high enough viral load”.

The B1617.2 variant is believed to be responsible for some of the coronavirus infections in the south side of Glasgow.

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