UK Detects South Africa Covid Variant in Eight Areas Across England.
The UK has detected cases of the variant first identified in South Africa in eight areas of England, according to The Guardian.
More specifically, these are 11 cases located in people who have not travelled from South Africa and are not related to other known cases, raising fears that they may have been infected in the United Kingdom, according to the BBC.
This brings to 105 the number of cases of the variant found so far in England.
The UK Government has recommended to local authorities that they begin to carry out massive tests in the areas where these cases have been identified, which are located in London, Walsall, Kent, Hertfordshire, Surrey and Lancashire.
All adults in the affected areas will be asked to undergo a PCR test and public health teams will begin going door-to-door this week. Positive cases will be tested to see if they are caused by the South African variant (the UK is currently the world leader in genomic sequencing). Around 80,000 people live in the eight neighbourhoods under investigation.
The goal is to use the tests to break the chains of community transmission, something that was not done soon enough with the UK variant that spread from Kent before Christmas. The South African variant, like the UK variant, is believed to be more transmissible than the original form of coronavirus, but British authorities insist there is no evidence that it is more transmissible or dangerous than the UK variant.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan took to Twitter after hearing the news: “The Covid-19 variant first discovered in South Africa has been identified in a small number of areas across the country, including London. Enhanced testing will now be carried out in three postcode areas of W7 in Ealing, N17 in Haringey and CR4 in Merton.”
NEW: The Covid-19 variant first discovered in South Africa has been identified in a small number of areas across the country, including London.
Enhanced testing will now be carried out in three postcode areas of W7 in Ealing, N17 in Haringey and CR4 in Merton. pic.twitter.com/iZIOgWyJIM
— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) February 1, 2021
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