Coronavirus cases continue to rise in the UK thanks to the Delta variant (Image: Getty Images)

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The number of delta variant coronavirus cases has risen by 46% in the space of one week as infections rose by more than 50,000, new official figures show.

New Public Health England (PHE) figures showed they were up by 50,824 or 46% on the previous week.

The delta variant continues to account for approximately 95% of confirmed cases across the UK.

PHE says a total 161,981 cases of the mutant strain had now been counted across the country so far, according to Friday's update.

Of those, were 148,538 were in England, 10,185 in Scotland, 1,749 in Wales and 1,509 in Northern Ireland.

The delta variant continues to account for approximately 95% of confirmed cases of coronavirus across the UK.

The spike in delta variant cases has been blamed for skyrocketing school absences this week.

People queue to received the Covid vaccine in Scotland
(Image: Getty Images)

The government has come under fire for its 'bubble' isolation system which has seen thousands of pupils sent home from school.

Just one case were forcing classes and sometimes entire year groups to go home and learn remotely again.

The latest figures released this week showed more than 375,000 children were out of class on June 24 due to the virus.

The school bubble system was expected to be dropped from July 19 if the plan to ditch most social distancing restrictions on the new 'freedom day' went ahead as expected, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said.

Currently, pupils must isolate for 10 days if another child in their bubble tests positive for Covid.

The rise in delta variant numbers was not being accompanied by a spike in hospitalisations or deaths.

New health secretary Sajid Javid was bullish this week about pushing ahead as he vowed to finally end lockdown, telling MPs in the Commons on Monday Britain "has to learn to live with Covid."

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