Surge testing in Tower Hamlets after Covid variants found

Tammy Hughes
·2-min read
<p>Residents in Clapham were urged to get tested after the South African variant was found there two weeks ago</p> (PA)

Residents in Clapham were urged to get tested after the South African variant was found there two weeks ago

(PA)

Surge testing is to be taken out in Tower Hamlets after a number of cases of the South African and Brazilian Covid variants were detected there.

Residents living in the E1 area have been asked to come forward and get tested on Sunday after variants of concern were discovered.

The Department of Health said all those who have tested positive are self-isolating.

“All the confirmed cases are self-isolating. There are no links between these cases and the cluster of cases recently identified in the south London area,” the statement read.

“Everybody aged 11 years and over who resides, works or is educated in these postcodes is strongly encouraged to take a Covid-19 PCR test when invited, whether they are showing symptoms or not.

“Enhanced contact tracing will be used for individuals testing positive with a variant of concern. In these instances, contact tracers will look back over an extended period in order to determine the route of transmission.

“By using PCR testing, positive results can be sent for genomic sequencing at specialist laboratories, helping us to identify variant of concern cases and their spread.

“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.”

On Friday, residents in Redbridge were asked to come forward for surge testing after two new cases of the South African variant were detected.

There are currently four variants of concern in the UK.

These are the South African variant, two different Kent variants, and the Brazilian variant (carries E484K).

There are fears that these variants are more transmissible or are more likely to be resistant to vaccines.

More than 400 cases of a new Indian Covid variant have been detected in the UK.

This mutation is currently under investigation and has not been listed as a variant of concern.

Two weeks ago residents in Clapham were urged to get tested after cases of the South African variant were found there.

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