THE first round of surge testing to catch the Indian variant in the UK has been rolled out in Bolton, Greater Manchester.
Testing in Bolton comes after Public Health England (PHE) today revealed that the B.1.617.2 strain of the Indian variant would be listed as one of concern.
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In Bolton, experts will be looking for both cases of the Indian variant and the South African variant.
People in the BL3 area have been urged to get a test.
The cases of the variants have been traced in Bolton and are self-isolating, their contacts have also been identified, the Department of Health said today.
Surge testing for coronavirus has also been deployed in London to catch cases of the South African variant.
In London, people living in the HA4 postcode in Ruislip, Hillingdon have been urged to take a Covid PCR test.
People in the areas above have been urged to get tested even if they don't have symptoms.
The Department of Health today said that people in this area should continue to take the weekly lateral flow tests that are provided for free by the government.
By rolling out the PCR tests in these area, experts will be able to detect cases of the variant.
This is because positive results can be sent for genomic sequencing.
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 the local authority website for more information.
ROLL OUT ROLL OUT
The announcement of the rollout in Ruislip means that there are now four London boroughs where surge testing is taking place.
In Hounslow, there is surge testing in the Woodlands area.
Then in East London, surge testing was last week announced in Redbridge Council (targeted areas within the IG1 and IG6 postcode areas and small parts of the IG5 and IG7 postcode areas).
Tower Hamlets Council has also deployed surge testing in the E1 area.
Today Public Health England (PHE) said that further measures would be taken to stop the spread of the Indian variant in areas such as London and Bolton in Greater Manchester.
Health experts in Bolton had reportedly urged the government to deploy surge testing in the area this week after cases of both the South African and Indian variant were detected.
PHE today said it would work with local authorities and Test and Trace to detect cases and limit the spread.
Dr Susan Hopkins, Covid-19 Strategic Response Director at PHE said the way to limit the spread of variants has not changed.
She reiterated the hands, face, space and fresh air message and urged people to get tested if they are told to, if they have symptoms or if they have been in contact with someone who has tested positive.
Surge testing is also taking place in certain areas in the West Midlands.
This includes Birmingham City Council (Ladywood, Soho and Jewellery Quarter, Alum Rock, Glebe Farm and Tile Cross, and Bordesley and Highgate wards.
The postcode areas in Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council that are also being surge tested are, B66 3, B66 4 and B67 6 postcode areas.
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