Indian variant could threaten easing of restrictions in June

Henrietta Brewer
May 15, 2021

"We are seeing lots of small separate clusters across the city, the vast majority of which are linked to global travel or household transmission".

During the weekly Prime Minister's Questions (PMQs) session in the House of Commons, he was asked about the variant - named B.1.617.2 and classified as a Variant of Concern (VOC) by Public Health England (PHE) - and told Members of Parliament that it may be "considerably more transmissible" than the dominant variant in the United Kingdom first detected in the county of Kent previous year.

Boris Johnson said the COVID-19 variant first detected in India was of "increasing concern".

The Northamptonshire Local Resilience Forum released a statement confirming six cases of the Indian variant of Covid in Towcester, today (May 14).

The spokesperson continued: "Kits are being picked up - one PCR test per person - along with details of how to register the kits and take the test". Completed kits are then dropped back at the school location.

"There is no evidence of increased cases translating into unmanageable pressure on NHS".

However during the time of this mass testing we would ask you to be cautious in their behaviour and not mix with others outside your household or childcare bubble unless absolutely necessary.

Lucy Wightman Joint Director of Public Health - North and West Northamptonshire Councils says: "The school has been hugely supportive, both in quick actions at the start of the outbreak and in enabling us to facilitate whole school community testing".

"We will accelerate remaining second doses to over 50s".

"This will be increasingly important as restrictions ease further on Monday and we begin to socialise indoors".

As well as testing, the government is also focusing on vaccines.

"We will support all schools who wish to encourage secondary age pupils and staff to continue to wear face coverings where possible", she said, adding that the position will be reviewed during half-term. Surge testing is now being carried out in some parts of London, Bolton, Birmingham and Worcestershire.

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