Cases of the new Indian variant have more than doubled for the second week in a row – with 1,313 cases confirmed – and some scientists fearing the B.1.617.2 variant will become dominant in the UK. The clusters remain predominantly located in the North West and London, but health officials in Bedford have also raised alarm at an apparent spike. In Blackburn, where multi-age surge vaccination will take place from Monday, as well as Bolton, the B.1.617.2 variant is thought to have driven a doubling of infections over the past seven days. It has spread three times faster than previous variants of concern, such as that from South Africa, according to analysis by the Telegraph. Experts are now urgently trying to establish to what extent the new Indian variant is more transmissible than the dominant one discovered in Kent last year, and whether it can get round the protection offered by vaccines.