UK starts surge testing in Harrow and Southwark for South African Covid variant

Photo: iStock
Photo: iStock

THE UK has started additional testing and genomic sequencing of highly targeted area within Southwark and in parts of Harrow, where the Covid-19 variant first identified in South Africa has been found, in partnership with the local authority, a statement said.

The increased testing, in combination with the current lockdown rules and Hands Face Space advice, will help to monitor and suppress the spread of the virus, it added.

Positive cases will be sequenced for genomic data to help increase the understanding of Covid-19 variants and their spread within these areas.

According to the statement, enhanced contact tracing, where contact tracers look back over an extended period to determine the route of transmission, will be used for individuals testing positive with a variant of concern.

Officials have urged people living within the targeted areas to take a Covid-19 test when offered, whether they are showing symptoms or not.

People with symptoms should book a free test online or by phone so they can get tested at a testing site or have a testing kit sent to them at home, the statement added.

Those without symptoms should visit the local authority website for more information.

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