Small number of cases of the Indian Covid variant have been detected in Warwickshire
There currently isn't enough evidence to indicate that any of the variants recently detected in India cause more severe disease or render the vaccines currently deployed any less effective
A small number of cases of the Indian Covid variant have been detected in Warwickshire.
Public Health England has announced that the cases of the VOC-21APR-02 COVID-19 variant (originally identified in India) were found in Abbey Ward in central Nuneaton.
These cases have been picked up through the national programme of genetic sequencing and detailed contact tracing is currently underway.
Public Health England has notified Warwickshire County Council and they are both working together to risk assess the situation - and are considering plans for enhanced community testing in the area.
“All close contacts are being traced and tested as a precaution," said Dr Shade Agboola, Director of Public Health Warwickshire.
"It is really important that anyone with COVID-19 symptoms isolates with their household and book themselves a PCR/NHS test through https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119.
"As a precautionary measure, whilst we are planning additional community testing, we would like to offer all residents (and anyone currently working) in Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough a PCR/NHS test, even if they don't have symptoms. Please access a test through the website above https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test and click "my local authority has asked me to have a test".
"We are recommending PCR/NHS tests, as these are the most accurate tests, and they are sent to the laboratory and analysed to look for new variants. Individuals without symptoms should continue to undertake twice weekly lateral flow testing (LFT/rapid tests) in addition to the PCR test.
"This particular variant is at least as transmissible as B.1.1.7 (the Kent variant) that is the predominant variant in the UK currently.
"There currently isn't enough evidence to indicate that any of the variants recently detected in India cause more severe disease or render the vaccines currently deployed any less effective.
"However, the more cases of the variant we find, the better chance we have at suppressing the virus and keeping our communities safe.”