Surge testing and Covid vaccines will be extended to six new areas of concern in England in a bid to tackle the spread of the Indian variant of Covid, Matt Hancock announced.
The Indian Covid variant has now been found in a plethora of locations across the country, with the government identifying the six concert zones by analyzing sewage and travel patterns.
“ Determined to do all we can so that this new variant does not jeopardize our recovery ”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said early evidence suggested the Indian variant of Covid – also known as B.1.617.2 – spreads more easily from person to person than the one discovered for the first time in Kent.
Mr Hancock said ministers were “determined to do everything possible to ensure that this new variant does not jeopardize our recovery”.
Other surge tests and vaccinations will therefore now be introduced in:
- North Tyneside
Tracking travel patterns, along with wastewater analysis, helped identify where the variants were in the country, and also where they were at risk of spreading.
Nearly 3,000 cases of the Indian variant have now been identified in the UK, up from around 2,300 on Monday (May 17).
Mr Hancock said: ‘The weekly case data in Bolton is now 283 per 100,000 and it doubled last week.
“There are now 25 people at Bolton Hospital with Covid – the majority are unvaccinated, almost 90% have yet to receive two vaccines.”
The Health Secretary also urged people to receive their Covid vaccine when asked to do so.
He said current data “shows the importance of getting vaccinated, not once but twice.”
“ Make sure we stay ahead of the virus with very vigorous action when administering vaccines ”
England’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam said scientists will know more about the transmissibility of the new Indian variant by “next week”.
Professor Van-Tam also said the jab rate over the next few weeks would be crucial to ensure the Prime Minister can lift all Covid restrictions on June 21.
He said at a press conference in Downing Street on Wednesday (May 19): “I personally present this as a direct race between the transmissibility of this new variant… and the administration of vaccines.
“The NHS is doing everything it can to boost this, and that’s the challenge ahead of us over the next two to three to four weeks, to make sure we get ahead of the virus with very vigorous action on it. administration of vaccines. . “
NHS England has now confirmed that people aged 34 and 35 will receive an SMS on Thursday (May 20) or Friday (May 21) asking them to show up for their Covid vaccine.
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This notice was published: 2021-05-20 06:30:54