Surge tests are due to be deployed in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets after several cases of South African and Brazilian variants have been discovered.
Neither the Tower Hamlets Council nor the NHS Test and Trace have provided details of the number of cases identified, but further testing and genomic sequencing is expected to take place in targeted areas of the E1 postcode from Sunday.
So far, variants of concern have been identified in Tower Hamlets in 10 sub-districts in postal codes E1, E2, E3 and E14.
This is coming as the government reported seven new coronavirus deaths and 1,907 other infections Saturday, bringing the total number of deaths recorded within 28 days of a positive COVID-19 test to 127,524.
A statement from the NHS Test and Trace said: “All confirmed cases are self-isolating. There is no link between these cases and the recently identified cluster of cases in the south London area.
“Anyone 11 years of age and over who resides, works or is educated in these zip codes is strongly encouraged to take a COVID-19 PCR test when invited, regardless of whether they are showing symptoms or not.
“Enhanced contact tracing will be used for people who test positive with a variant of concern. In these cases, the contact tracers will look back over an extended period to determine the route of transmission.
“Using PCR tests, positive results can be sent for genomic sequencing to specialized laboratories, which helps us identify variants of cases of concern and their spread.
“People with symptoms should book a free test online or over the phone so they can get tested at a testing site or have a test kit sent home.”
The identified Brazilian variant, also known as P1, is the more serious of the two from Brazil because it contains mutations that mean scientists fear they may be more able to bypass the protection offered by current vaccines. .
There are concerns about the South African variant, officially called …
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This notice was published: 2021-05-01 15:21:00