More cases of the South African variant of Covid have been identified in LB Ealing: in Acton, Greenford, Southall and West Ealing.
There has been a surge in testing in west Ealing since a single case of the South African variant was found there at the end of January. The council has organised for staff to go door to door encouraging people to take test. Rupa Huq MP made a video with her sister Konnie Huq and her husband Charlie Brooker and community leaders to encourage people living in west Ea;ling to get themselves tested.
These new cases are not believed to be linked to international travel. The South African variant is more easily transmissable than the English version.
More surge testing will now be carried out in the borough. Normal testing does not identify which variant of the virus a patient has – that can only be done by genome sequencing, which takes about three weeks.
The council is now asking people to go to their local walk-up community test sites and get a rapid test from Thursday, 25 February. This will help identify people who have the virus and whether further tests need to take place to check for variants. One has been set up in West Ealing at Dean Gardens car park, Leeland Terrace, West Ealing, W13 9DA.
‘There are several different variants of Covid-19 in the UK and it is likely that more will develop as the virus changes over time” said a council statement. ‘Therefore, it is essential to drive down the number of cases of Covid-19 whichever variant people have.’
On Wednesday the government announced that surge testing would begin in the HP10 postcode in Buckinghamshire and SW8 and SW9 postcodes in Lambeth in London.
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