'Vital we do whatever we can' says Hartlepool health chief after sharp Delta variant rise
A Hartlepool health chief has urged residents to continue to protect themselves against Covid-19 after a rise in cases fuelled by the Indian Delta variant.
Craig Blundred Hartlepool Borough Council’s director of public health, urged people not to become complacent and said small steps save lives.
Mr Blundred said the Delta variant, first identified in India, now accounts for around 90% of infections in the UK with Hartlepool now affected.
Latest Public Health England figures show 14 new cases of the variant recorded across town in the week ending June 9.
This compares to no new cases recorded the previous seven days ending June 2.
He said: “There is currently a rising number of cases of the Delta variant across the UK and Hartlepool is no different.
“Rising infections in the UK are being driven by the Delta variant, first identified in India, which now accounts for around 90% of infections.
"Clearly this is concerning and it is vital that we all do whatever we can to try to stem this rise.
“We know Covid-19 is spread through social contact and each and every one of us therefore has a responsibility to ensure we follow the rules and don’t become complacent.
“In particular, please remember hands, face, space and fresh air as even these small steps help save lives.
"It is vitally important that we all take these basic safety precautions but we need to do it as a collective measure – it is not a case of one or the other.”
Mr Blundred was speaking after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a delay to the final stage of the easing of lockdown restrictions in England by four weeks until Monday, July 19, due to rising case numbers nationwide.
Latest Public Health England data also shows a rise in overall coronavirus cases in one week across Hartlepool from just three at the start of June to 42.
Mr Blundred said the rise in cases reinforces the importance of getting jabbed saying people in Hartlepool have “embraced the vaccination programme brilliantly well”.
"I understand people are tired and frustrated. But if everyone pulls together once more we will be able to make a difference,” he added.