DOOR-TO-DOOR testing to being in Hampshire as South African Covid variant discovered
A huge operation of surge Covid testing and genomic sequencing is about to be rolled out in Hampshire, Middlesbrough and Walsall after several cases of the highly transmissible South African coronavirus was discovered in the areas.
Many of the cases already detected are worryingly in people who don’t have a history of travel to the affected area, which means that the mutation is spreading across the UK. Local officials will now go door-to-door to offer Covid tests and the Department of Health and Social Care has encouraged everyone to get tested, whether or not they are showing symptoms.
Director of public health at Hampshire County Council, Simon Bryant , said: ‘I appreciate that this news may be worrying for the local community, but it’s really important to understand that the risk of transmission from this single case is considered to be very low, helped by the fact that national restrictions are in place, with most people staying at home and adhering to the Government guidance of ‘hands, face, space’
‘Furthermore, there is no evidence that this particular variant causes more severe illness, or that the regulated vaccines do not protect against it.
‘Following confirmation of the case and in line with Government guidelines, the county council has begun work with Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, Public Health England, our local NHS, as well as the Department of Health and Social Care, to arrange a localised surge-testing programme in the area. This is due to begin next week.
‘The rapid local testing programme is primarily a precautionary measure designed to help the Government to better understand and prevent the spread of new variants across the country.’
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