Surge testing in south London borough after South Africa variant case

9 February 2021, 19:26

A case of the South African variant has been detected in Lambeth, south London
A case of the South African variant has been detected in Lambeth, south London. Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

Extra coronavirus testing will be carried out in areas of south London after a case of the South African variant was discovered.

The surge testing and genomic sequencing will be rolled out in parts of West Norwood and a small section of Streatham in the borough of Lambeth, the Department of Health and Social Care said.

People over the age of 16 living or working within the SE27 0, SE27 9 and SW16 2 postcodes are strongly encouraged to take a Covid-19 test this week, whether they are showing symptoms or not.

Lambeth council said: "This is to help us track any potential cases after a case of the variant of Covid-19 that was first identified in South Africa was discovered in the area."

Read more: Bristol Covid mutation designated as 'Variant of Concern'

People with symptoms should book a test in the usual way while others should visit their council website.

Meanwhile the surge testing carried out in Woking, Surrey, which started last week, is now complete.

Door-to-door and mobile testing began at the start of the month after 11 cases of the variant were identified in people who had no links to travel - suggesting it may be spreading in communities.

Dr Susan Hopkins, from Public Health England, told a briefing for journalists on Tuesday that 170 cases of the South African variant had been identified so far, including 18 that are not linked to travel.

It comes as Home Secretary Priti Patel is looking into the case of a passenger arriving in the UK from South Africa without receiving any checks.