May 14, 2021

Indian variant: Next steps considered amid India variant concern

Public Health England has recorded 1,313 UK cases of the Indian variant. Cases of the Indian variant in the UK have been recorded in London, Bolton, Tyneside and Nottingham. Surge testing has also been deployed in Sefton, Merseyside, after cases of the Indian variant were confirmed in the Formby area, with anyone over 16 who lives, works or studies in the area urged to take a PCR test. Experts believe the Indian variant has mutations that may make it more transmissible, but it is not yet known if it causes more severe disease or if it might make current vaccines less effective. Sources have told the BBC surge testing in areas where the variant has been found "Isn't working", with the current strategy identifying cases but no stopping the spread. The sources added cases of the variant were being seen in many places with no links to travel and case numbers had been "Grossly underestimated".

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