Over 150 cases of Indian variant recorded last week in Bedford Bedford News

Up to 156 cases of the Indian variant of the coronavirus were detected in Bedford last week, new figures reveal.

Public Health England (PHE) followed the spread of the B.1.617.2 mutation – which originated in India – by testing positive cases of Covid-19 across the country for an ‘S gene’.

The gene is not present in the dominant variant of Kent, which was responsible for an increase in cases over the winter, but is present in other variants of concern, including those from India.

Eligible Bedford residents urged to receive their Covid vaccine

Scientists have determined that the vast majority of S gene specimens identified across England in May are the Indian variant.

PHE identified 156 positive cases of the S gene in Bedford between May 8 and May 14.

The health body previously reported that 71 cases were detected in the region from May 2 to 8, but warned it had counted tests done on May 8 twice.

Bedford has more S-gene positive cases than almost anywhere else in England, although the majority of regions have also reported at least one case.

However, the same study found that they were only 33% effective three weeks after the first dose.

The effectiveness of vaccines against the new variants is seen as a major hurdle blocking the next stage of the roadmap, but the chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency has said the possibility of easing restrictions on the 21st June was “good”.

However, Dr Jenny Harries urged the public to be careful to avoid another lockdown, warning that the new Indian variant has become the ‘dominant strain’ in parts of the country.

She told BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show: “It looks good if people continue to heed all the safety signs, so we shouldn’t stop doing what we’re doing, especially in areas where we have this. variant of concern. “

From June 21 at the earliest, nightclubs are to reopen and restrictions on major events such as festivals are to be lifted, as are restrictions on the number of people at weddings.

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This notice was published: 2021-05-25 16:24:18