Surge testing in London borough after Brazilian and South African variants found

Surge testing is to be deployed in another London borough after ‘several’ cases of the South African and Brazilian Covid variants were found.

People in the E1 area of Tower Hamlets have been asked to come forward for a test from Sunday after the variants of concern were discovered.

A statement from NHS Test and Trace said: ‘All the confirmed cases are self-isolating. There are no links between these cases and the cluster of cases recently identified in the south London area.

‘Everybody aged 11 years and over who resides, works or is educated in these postcodes is strongly encouraged to take a COVID-19 PCR test when invited, whether they are showing symptoms or not.

‘Enhanced contact tracing will be used for individuals testing positive with a variant of concern. In these instances, contact tracers will look back over an extended period in order to determine the route of transmission.

‘By using PCR testing, positive results can be sent for genomic sequencing at specialist laboratories, helping us to identify variant of concern cases and their spread.

‘People with symptoms should book a free test online or by phone so they can get tested at a testing site or have a testing kit sent to them at home.’

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