The United Kingdom on Monday recorded 49,156 new cases – the country’s highest jump since mid-July, The Guardian reported. The infections are rising among secondary school children, older citizens and individuals whose immunity has started to wane.

On an average, 800 people have died every week since September, Bloomberg reported. The country’s toll stands at 1.4 lakh.

Former United States Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb called for “urgent research” into a mutation of the Delta variant – also known as Delta Plus – to find out if it is more transmissible.

“There’s no clear indication that it’s considerably more transmissible, but we should work to more quickly characterise these and other new variants,” Gottlieb said in a tweet. “We have the tools.”

The Delta variant and its sub-lineages are said to be twice as contagious as the original Sars-CoV-2 strain and spread faster.

Delta variant in New Zealand

Meanwhile, the Delta variant is also spreading across New Zealand’s capital Auckland, Reuters reported. The country reported 94 cases on Tuesday, of which 87 were in Auckland. So far, 2,099 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in New Zealand.

The government has blamed citizens who are not following guidelines and the unvaccinated people for the rise in cases.

“The rules matter for everyone and the ask of testing if you are symptomatic applies to everyone,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said at a news conference on Tuesday. “We need everyone who can be, to be vaccinated...we all have a part to play.”

New Zealand has not recorded many coronavirus cases during the pandemic, until the Delta outbreak in August. The government said it plans to combat the outbreak by increasing the vaccination drives. To date, 67% of the population of New Zealand has been vaccinated.