Coronavirus UK news live – Matt Hancock warns Indian variant can ‘spread like wildfire’ among unvaccinated Brits

MATT Hancock today warned the Indian variant can “spread like wildfire” among those not vaccinated against Covid.

The Health Secretary told Sky News the strain can “spread even faster” than the Kent variant, which drove the UK’s deadly second wave of infections this winter, with a total of just over 1,300 cases found in the country so far.

He said it was “becoming the dominant strain in some parts of the country” such as Bolton and Blackburn.

And he said the country faces a “race between the vaccination programme and the virus” – with the Indian variant having “given the virus some extra legs in that race”.

A growing number of experts have issued warnings over the major easing of restrictions tomorrow as concerns about the strain grow.

Scientists urged for a delay in the third stage of the roadmap as medics described the step as a “real worry” while many await vaccination.

Meanwhile, the government plans to vaccinate one million people a day as ‘Covid hit squads’ target India variant hotspots across the country.

By using a stockpile of 3.2 million vaccines, daily doses will be ramped up from 500,000 to 800,000 within a fortnight, according to the Telegraph.

Reading our coronavirus live blog below for up to the minute updates…

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