Readers have shared their thoughts on the news that the Delta variant of Covid-19 has arrived in Cumbria "with a bang".

The county's top health official, director of Public Health Colin Cox, spoke on BBC Radio Cumbria earlier this week, saying: "This time last week I was saying Cumbria had been pretty stable for maybe six weeks, with case rates at about eight per 100,000.

"Today we're sitting on about 13 per 100,000. The majority are very likely to be the Delta variant. It arrived with a bang last week."

It comes after health secretary Matt Hancock revealed the Delta variant, previously labelled the Indian variant, was around 40 per cent more transmissible than even the Kent – now Alpha – variant that spread last winter.

And now, Whitehaven News readers have had their say on the issue.

Dee Milburn wanted answers, asking: "If transmission has gone up but not hospital admissions is that because this variant is less likely to cause severe symptoms, the age of those getting infected, vaccines, etc? What's the full picture?"

Alex Rayment said: "Government let the variant in by refusing (a) to have full hotel quarantines at the borders for all arrivals, and (b) failing to put India on its 'red list' of countries for months when it was clear the outbreak there was bad.

"Government should be in court for manslaughter and criminal damage to the economy for this deliberate act."

Sean Cullen found Mr Cox's terminology comedic, commenting: "So the cases have risen from 8/100,000 to 13/100,000 that’s an increase of five.

"What kind of bang is that, comedy gold. Also every “case” could be a false positive."

One website user said: "We all knew this was coming, if you think we were coming out of lockdown you were kidding yourselves.

"I am no conspiracy person – I have had my first vaccine – but come on people, wake up. So this going to be a second year in lockdown really, it's a joke now.

"Just let restrictions off fully and people [get] on with their lives. Look at mental health – instead that's been ignored and is worse now since Covid. This needs to end."

User, Lowercase Guy, commented: "It was always going to happen, especially in the Lake District hotspots, which have been inundated with visitors.

"South and east Cumbria will take a huge hit, it's not rocket science."

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