14% of Covid cases in London belong to Delta Plus variant - how does my area compare?

There are rising numbers of Delta Plus cases across the capital, with the Government renewing its calls for Londoners to get vaccinated, as a new South African strain causes global concern.

Around 14% of Covid-19 cases in London belong to the Delta Plus variant, latest figures indicate.

The second Delta variant, known as AY.4.2, or Delta Plus, is currently being monitored by Downing Street.

It comes as a new variant circulating in South Africa has prompted huge global concern - although no cases have yet been detected in the UK, as of the evening of Friday, November 26.

Boffins at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, part of the Covid-19 Genomics UK Consortium, have been analysing a sample of Covid tests from across the country to work out what variant each is.

Scientists have said Delta Plus carries two characteristic mutations in the spike - Y145H and A222V - both of which have been found in other coronavirus lineages since the start of the pandemic.

In London, around 14% of positive cases belong to Delta Plus in the week to November 13 - according to the latest Wellcome Sangar Institute figures.

Overall, 3,133 tests from London were genome sequenced with 431 coming back as Delta Plus.

Not all tests were checked, so the figures do not show the total number of people with the new strain, but the variant’s positivity rate.

Ealing had the highest percentage of Delta Plus positives, with 21.3% of sequenced test belonging to the new variant.

However the Wellcome Sangar Institute only tested 89 cases from the west London borough, with 19 belonging to Delta Plus.

The Delta Plus positivity rates in London. Credit: Mark Hall
The Delta Plus positivity rates in London. Credit: Mark Hall
The Delta Plus positivity rates in London. Credit: Mark Hall

Brent had the second highest Delta Plus positivity rate, with 15 of 71 tests coming back as Delta Plus - or 21.1%.

Lewisham, Kingston, Kensington and Chelsea and Camden had the third, fourth, fifth and sixth highest percentages of Delta Plus, with 19.2%, 17.2%, 17% and 16.9% respectively.

The City of London had the lowest percentage of Delta Plus, with zero cases of its three sequenced testing positive for the new strain.

Hammersmith and Fulham had the second lowest percentage with 3.8%, while Barnet and Merton had 7.4%, and Greenwich had 7.6%.

The Government has renewed its calls for people to get vaccinated against Covid-19 after warning of the potential threat of future variants.

Health secretary Sajid Javid urged people to get vaccinated against Covid-19, and take up the offer of a booster dose, to help keep infections under control after warning cases could rise to 100,000 per day this winter.

He said: “We need to be ready for what lies around the corner. This means our ongoing programme of booster jabs is so important, and this winter we’re prioritising those most in need.”