London, Jun 4 (IANS): The B.1.6172 coronavirus variant, also known as Delta, has become the "dominant" strain in the UK, according to the Public Health England (PHE).
The number of cases of the variant has increased by more than 5,000 since last week to 12,431, Xinhua news agency reported citing PHE data as saying on Thursday.
PHE officials say that the variant has now overtaken the Kent variant, known as Alpha, as the most dominant in the UK.
Jenny Harries, Chief Executive of the UK Health Security Agency said: "With this variant now dominant across the UK, it remains vital that we all continue to exercise as much caution as possible.
"The way to tackle variants is to tackle the transmission of Covid-19 as a whole. Work from home where you can, and practice 'hands, face, space, fresh air at all times."
There is "early evidence to suggest there may be an increased risk of hospitalisation" from the B.1.6172 variant, but further data is needed to confirm this, according to PHE.
The UK has so far reported 4,515,778 coronavirus cases, with 128,075 deaths.