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South Africa Covid-19 variant: Worcestershire testing begins
South Africa variant: Worcestershire Covid-19 testing beginsPublished3 hours agoSharecloseShare pageCopy linkAbout sharingRelated Topics
Testing for the South Africa variant of the coronavirus has begun in Worcestershire.
The county council has set up surge testing in the WR3 postcode, and some parts of WR9, after cases of the variant with no links to international travel were identified.
Councillor Tony Miller said it equated to about 6,000 people.
Mr Miller said, so far, only one positive case of the variant had been found in the area.
"We have done positive tracing and tracking of that person to who they have been in contact with and everybody who has been in contact is self isolating," he said.
The testing site, he said, would initially be in place for a week, possibly two.
The South Africa variant, one of thousands since Covid-19 emerged, is not thought to be any more dangerous than others circulating in the UK but there are concerns it can spread more readily and vaccines may not work quite as well against it.
Cases that cannot be linked to international travel have raised concerns the variant is spreading in communities in England.image captionTechnical problems caused some delays at the testing centre on Saturday
A mobile testing unit has been set up at The White Hart pub in Fernhill Heath, near Worcester, for adults with no symptoms living within walking distance.
But technical problems forced those booked for tests before 12:00 GMT on Saturday to rearrange, which Worcestershire County Council said had affected a quarter of bookings on the first day of testing.
A drive-through testing site is planned to open in the coming days, and door-to-door testing will also be made available.
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