Reported cases of variant reach almost 7,000, as it becomes dominant in Britain

Up to three-quarters of new UK Covid cases are now thought to be caused by the variant first detected in India, the health secretary has said.

The variant of concern, known as B.1.617.2, has been linked to a rise in cases in hotspots around the country. Data released on Thursday by Public Health England (PHE) shows 6,959 cases have been confirmed so far in the UK, up from 3,424 the week before.

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