Coronavirus news – live: Cases soar in India variant hotspots as PM says full picture known ‘in a few days’

·1 min read

Covid-19 infection rates are rising in areas known to have cases of the Indian-origin virus variant. Infection rates in Bolton rose from 150.2 to 301.5 cases per 100,000 in the week to 14 May.

Boris Johnson has said there is not yet “anything conclusive” to delay England’s easing of lockdown, but warned on Tuesday: “We’ve got to be cautious and we are keeping everything under very close observation. We’ll know a lot more in a few days’ time.”

The UK now has 2,323 confirmed cases of the Indian variant and the possibility of new local lockdowns has been floated in response to its spread. Experts say it is likely to become the country’s dominant strain “in the next few days”.