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Surge testing deployed in Wandsworth after South African variant detected
10 March 2021, 17:32
Increased coronavirus testing will be carried out in parts of Wandsworth, south-west London, after cases of the South African variant were identified.
Additional testing and genomic sequencing is being deployed within the SW11 and SW15 postcodes, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said.
Enhanced contact tracing - where tracers look back over an extended period to determine the route of transmission - will be used for individuals testing positive with a variant of concern.
The extra testing is being introduced in addition to existing extensive testing and will help to monitor and suppress the spread of the virus, the DHSC said.
Any positive cases found will be sequenced for genomic data to help increase understanding of coronavirus variants and their spread.
The DHSC said residents of the targeted areas were "strongly encouraged" to take a test when offered, whether they are showing symptoms or not.
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 their homes.