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The number of Covid cases in the UK has risen by 7,393, a rise of 40% in a week.

This time last week, Thursday June 3, there were 5,274 new cases reported, giving a total of 4,499,878.

There were tragically 18 new deaths reported, giving a total of 127,812.

One coronavirus death has been recorded in Scotland in the last 24 hours, according to the latest statistics.

It means the death toll under the daily measure – of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days – is now 7,679.

The statistics show 735 people tested positive for coronavirus in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of cases in Scotland since the start of the pandemic to 243,610.

Clinical staff wearing PPE care for a patient (file photo)
(Image: Getty Images)

This is down on the 1,011 cases recorded on Wednesday, which was an almost four-month record. A total of 2.8% of tests for Covid-19 came back as positive in the last 24 hours.

In Wales, 113 new cases have been reported today with a further one death.

And in Northern Ireland there have been 109 positive cases and no deaths reported in the past 24 hours.

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The figures come as the Health Secretary confirmed that the Delta variant first identified in India now comprises 91% of cases of coronavirus in the UK.

Matt Hancock told MPs this was according to an assessment he saw on Wednesday evening.

Mr Hancock was speaking on Thursday during more than four hours of questioning by MPs on the science and health committees.

Inside a ward in Wythenshawe Hospital
(Image: Joel Goodman)

The UK Government is expected to decide next week whether to proceed with a further easing of restrictions in England on June 21, dubbed "freedom day" by some, amid concerns about the dominant variant.

According to Professor Neil Ferguson, whose modelling was instrumental to the UK locking down in March 2020, it may be 60% more transmissible than the Alpha variant which swept across the UK over the winter peak.

Elsewhere, the World Health Organisation's Europe director warned that the Delta variant first identified in India was "poised to take hold in the region" as many countries prepare to ease restrictions.

An intensive care unit at Royal Papworth Hospital (file photo)
(Image: Getty Images)

Dr Hans Kluge said it had shown signs of being able to evade some vaccines and that some vulnerable people remained unprotected.

"We have been here before," he said. "Over the course of last summer, cases gradually rose in younger age groups and then moved into older age groups, contributing to a devastating resurgence."

Dr Kluge said that the spike in Covid-19 cases ultimately led to more lockdowns and deaths in the autumn and winter of 2020, adding: "Let's not make that mistake again."