THERE are nearly 100 cases of the Indian Covid-19 variant in the South East of England, the latest data from Public Health England shows.

Professor James Naismith, from the University of Oxford, warned the Indian variant should be viewed as a 'countrywide problem', which will 'get everywhere', in an interview with BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

A PHE report published on Thursday suggests that the rate of transmission of the Indian variant may be slightly higher to the Kent one.

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The rate of infection in Oxfordshire now stands at 4,919 cases per 100,000 people, lower than the England average of 6,901.

According to the Government’s website, as of 4pm on Friday, there were five new cases recorded in the county.

These were the numbers for the past 24 hours by local authority:

l Oxford – 1

l West Oxfordshire – 2

l Cherwell – 2

There are no new cases in South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse.

The total number of coronavirus cases since the pandemic started are:

l Oxford – 9,592

l Oxfordshire – 34,023

The UK has recorded a further 17 Covid-related deaths and 2,193 new cases, Public Health England confirmed.

The health body recently changed the way it records the figures.

Covid-19 cases identified through a positive lateral flow test – those which can deliver results within half an hour – will no longer be counted if the person then takes a PCR test, which is sent to a lab to be checked, and receives a negative result within three days.