UK expands surge testing as South Africa’s COVID-19 variant spreads in London

British health officials have extended the ongoing COVID-19 surge test operation to two more London boroughs to curb the spread of the first identified variant of the CCP virus in South Africa.

Burnett’s local council said Wednesday that a South African variant was found in the autonomous region of northern London.

“From Thursday, April 15th, we will begin testing this variant in certain N3-affected zip code areas or on local high streets,” the council said. .. website..

Tuesday night, Ministry of Health (DHSC) Said Additional testing and genomic sequencing were provided in the target area within the SE16 zip code area in Southwark, southern London.

Epoch Times Photo
The logo is on the window of the Biogroup Laboratory’s lab, which is testing the CCP virus for a rapid PCR test in western London on January 21, 2021. (JustinTallis / AFP via Getty Images)

According to the DHSC, confirmed cases of South African variants were found in the area, the infected were self-quarantined, and their contacts were identified.

Genomic sequencing results showed that this case was associated with clusters identified in Lambeth and Onesworth, where surge testing had been underway since Monday.

The DHSC said Monday that 44 confirmed cases and 30 possible cases were identified in these two London boroughs.

Dr. Kevin Fenton, Regional Director of the UK Public Health Service in London, said the cluster in southern London is “important” and “plays a role in preventing local people from further expansion within the community.” It was.

“PCR testing is now available to everyone. It is highly recommended that everyone in Southwark be invited to be tested, even if they are not symptomatic of the coronavirus,” he said. Told.

Medical experts warn that South African variants of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus are more resistant to antibodies than older variants and may reduce the effectiveness of the vaccine.

According to a study published in February, the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine does not appear to provide protection against cases of mild and moderate COVID-19 due to South African variants.

Health Minister Matt Hancock said in February that British officials would “kill the mutant virus hard” to limit its spread to the community.