Surge testing deployed in east London after South African and Brazilian variants detected

1 May 2021, 17:50 | Updated: 2 May 2021, 08:25

Surge testing will take place in parts of east London from Sunday
Surge testing will take place in parts of east London from Sunday. Picture: PA

By Patrick Grafton-Green

Surge testing is to be deployed across parts of east London after several cases of the South African and Brazilian variants were detected, health leaders have said.

Covid-19 testing is taking place in targeted areas within the E1 postcode in Tower Hamlets from Sunday, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said.

It follows the identification of "several" confirmed cases of the variant B.1.351, first seen in South Africa, and the P1 variant, first identified in Brazil.

READ MORE: Surge Covid-19 testing deployed in Redbridge after South Africa variant found

The DHSC said all the confirmed cases were self-isolating and there were no links between the new cases and the cluster of cases recently identified in the south London area.

Everyone aged 11 and over who lives, works or is educated in these postcodes is being encouraged to take a test when invited, whether they are showing symptoms or not, the department added.

NHS Test and Trace is working with Tower Hamlets Council to provide the testing and genomic sequencing.

It comes as the Government said on Saturday that a further seven people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19, bringing the UK total to 127,524.

The Government also said that, as of 9am on Saturday, there had been a further 1,907 lab-confirmed cases in the UK.

Government data up to April 30 shows that 49,287,257 Covid-19 vaccines have been given in the UK so far.

Of these, 34,346,273 were first doses - a rise of 129,657 on the previous day - and 14,940,984 were second doses, an increase of 405,456.