Covid: ‘Very small number’ of Indian variant cases in city

By Maria Zaccaro, Local Democracy Reporter

hand gelA “very small number” of cases of the B.1.617.2 – the variant of Covid-19 which first originated in India – have been detected in Southampton to date.

A “very small number” of cases of the B.1.617.2  – the variant of Covid-19 which first originated in India – have been detected in Southampton to date, it has been revealed.

 

The news has been confirmed by Dr Debbie Chase, the director of public health at Southampton City Council.

The number of cases, when they were identified and the location have not been disclosed.

Dr Chase said the cases were linked to foreign travel and  individuals were isolated.

In a statement she said: “In Southampton we have only had a very small number of cases of the B.1.617.2 (which first originated in India) detected to date. These were linked to foreign travel. All cases and contacts were identified, individuals isolated and were supported. We have no evidence to date to suggest community spread. We will be working closely with Public Health England to understand if there will ever be a need to offer surge testing in the city should there be an increase in cases.”

Yesterday health secretary Matt Hancock said cases of the Indian variant were identified across 86 local authority areas.

Dr Chase said at this stage there is no reason to think that the Covid-19 vaccine will not be effective at preventing severe infection and death from the Indian variant.

She said: “It is of vital importance that everyone accepts the vaccine when they are eligible. If you are eligible and have not yet taken the jab I would urge you to do so as soon as possible for your own health and for the community.”

Dr Chase also added: “Cases of Covid-19 in Southampton are low but it remains a threat and we must continue to employ all the tools we have available to respond. Use symptom-free testing twice weekly if you don’t have symptoms, stay at home and get a PCR test if you do have symptoms. And keep doing the basics rights – remember hands, face, space and fresh air. This will be effective at reducing risk from all variants.” 

This report was filed by Maria Zaccaro, Local Democracy Reporter, on Tuesday (May 18).

 


ldrs logo 200px This article is from the Local Democracy Reporting Service or Shared Data Unit. Some alterations and additions may have been made by our site, which is a partner in the BBC's Local News Partnerships scheme. LDRS journalists are funded by the BBC to cover local authorities and other public service organisations, and content is shared with all partners.


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