Surge Covid testing has been deployed to another UK area after the worrying South African variant was detected.
NHS Test and Trace is providing additional testing in and around the Woodlands area of Hounslow, London, after one confirmed case of the variant.
The confirmed case has self-isolated and their contacts have been identified.
No links have been found between this case and previous cases identified in the South London area.
Everybody aged 16 and over who lives and works in the area is strongly encouraged to take a Covid-19 PCR test, whether they are showing symptoms or not.
The Department of Health and Social Care said in a statement: “Enhanced contact tracing will be used for individuals testing positive with a variant of concern.
“This is where contact tracers 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.”
Those without symptoms should visit Hounslow’s website for more information.
People in this area should continue using twice-weekly rapid testing alongside the PCR test as part of surge testing.
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