Every new coronavirus case in Newcastle is now coming from the fast-spreading Delta variant, a public health boss has confirmed.

Professor Eugene Milne, the city’s public health director, confirmed that the strain which was first identified in India has accounted for 100 per cent of cases over recent days.

The variant’s spread has caused a major spike in cases across the North-East, meaning Newcastle, Northumberland, and North Tyneside are all now reporting infection rates above 100 cases per 100,000 people.

It comes amid efforts to quickly boost Newcastle’s vaccine rollout, with new pop-up jab centres around the city soon to open in a bid to meet the government’s accelerated target of offering every adult a vaccine by the delayed lockdown end date of July 19.

That will include a new facility outside the Centre for Life, while health chiefs are also hoping to bring more pharmacies on board to deliver thousands of extra doses each week.

Prof Milne told Newcastle’s City Futures Board on Wednesday that Newcastle had seen a surge in Covid cases over recent weeks, albeit not on the scale of that seen in the North-West, but that he hoped the rise was “possibly slowing”.

He said that infections are “heavily concentrated” in young people in their late teens and early-20s who have yet to be offered a vaccine, but there is a “bit of a worry” that case rates among the over-65s are at their highest since mid-March – though that has not yet caused an increase in Covid-related hospitalisations.

City leaders were shown a graph highlighting the Delta variant rapid rise from around 10 per cent of Newcastle Covid cases in mid-May to above 90 per cent now.

Prof Milne said: “Over the last few days the data I have received we have been getting 100 per cent Delta variant on the positive cases.

“Right now, the Delta variant is the Covid that we see in the city.”

City council leader Nick Forbes warned that a lack of hospital admissions did not mean the virus was not a problem anymore.

He said: “It is not just about hospital admissions.

We know that the more Covid there is in circulation, the more likelihood of a new variant.

“We should not just assume that because there are not people in hospital with Covid that the problem has somehow lessened or gone away.”

While the North -East as a region has the second highest rate of first vaccine doses delivered in the country, Newcastle has lagged well behind its neighbours in rolling out the jabs.

According to latest figures, only 59 per cent of adults in Newcastle have received their first dose compared to 79.4 per cent across the UK – though Prof Milne says the city’s numbers are “a bit exaggerated” because of its large student population, most of which are not yet eligible for a vaccine.

In order to meet the new target of offering every adult a first dose by July 19, Newcastle would have to deliver between 2,000 and 2,500 jabs per day, although some students may choose to get their vaccine closer to their parental home instead.

It was announced on Tuesday that a mobile vaccine bus would be travelling the city each day in a bid to increase the rollout.

Jackie Cairns, of Newcastle Gateshead CCG, also announced on Wednesday that a ‘bus plus’ service will start from June 21 that can deliver both Astrazeneca and Pfizer jabs in the same session, thereby making it available to anyone.

A pop-up vaccine hub outside the Centre for Life will offer an extra 2,000 appointments per week, on top of the 1,500 available inside the science hub, while six pharmacies in the city will offer a combined 4,300 jabs per week by June 28.

Ms Cairns said that other pop-ups could open at GP surgeries and that, with vaccinations soon to be available for all over-18s, Newcastle was lobbying was greater supplies of the Pfizer vaccine – as the Astrazeneca jab is not being given to younger people.

There are also hopes that Pharmacy2U pharmacies will agree to become part of the city’s vaccine rollout, potentially providing up to an extra 5,000 appointments per week.