Matt Hancock stated there had been 1300 cases of the new and more dominant strain of the Indian variant out of 66 million people in the UK.
Matt said: “In total, we’ve seen just over 1300 cases of this Indian variant. It is becoming the dominant strain in some parts of the country, for instance, in Bolton and in Blackburn.”
The new Indian variant is said to be more prominent in Bolton and Blackburn, which both have high populations of Indian and Pakistani communities. Matt stated that those in the hospital with the new variant were eligible for the vaccine but hadn’t come forward to take the vaccine.
Matt said: “The people who are ending up in hospital in Bolton with this new variant are largely people who are eligible for the vaccine but haven’t taken the vaccine.”
The Health Secretary then went onto pleading with people to take the vaccine in the areas under investigation, otherwise, he can’t rule out another lockdown in Bolton and Blackburn.
The Health Secretary said: “it’s not a step we’d want to take, but of course we might have to take it, and we will if it’s necessary to protect people.”