Covid mutation warning: Hancock says more than 100 cases of South African variant in UK

Matt Hancock: Over 100 cases of new variant in the UK

Matt Hancock has called on Brits in specific areas of the country to get a Covid test even if they do not have symptoms after 105 cases of the variant have been found. Speaking from Downing Street, the Health Secretary said: “We’ve now identified 105 cases of this variant here, 11 of those cases don’t appear to have any links to international travel. There is currently no evidence to suggest that this variant is any more severe but we need to come down on it hard and we will.

“We’ve already made sure that all of these cases are isolating and we’ve done enhanced contact tracing of all of their close contacts.

“We’re surging extra testing into the areas where this variant has been found and sequencing every single positive case.

“Working with local authorities, we’re going door to door to test people in the local area.

“These cases have been identified in the following postcodes – W7, N17, CR4, WS2, ME15, EN10, GU21 and PR9.

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“If you live in one of these postcodes where we’re sending in enhanced testing then it is imperative that you stay at home and that you get a test even if you don’t have symptoms.”

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan urged people in affected areas in London not to “panic” after enhanced testing for the South African variant of coronavirus was rolled out in parts of Ealing, Haringey and Merton.

Speaking to LBC, Mr Khan said: “The concern is that this particular type of virus spreads very quickly – the word is transmissible.

“We need to understand how much of this particular strain of the virus has come into the London community.”

More to follow…

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