More Indian variant cases found in Suffolk

Mobile testing site in Needham Market, Suffolk

The coronavirus testing site in Needham Market will close on Saturday. - Credit: Archant

A total of 30 Indian variant cases have been found in Suffolk as the county council carries out nearly 2,000 Covid tests in Needham Market since Friday. 

There has been a total of 35 Coronavirus cases in total during the increased testing in Saturday, May 22 with 17 being classed as the B.1.617.2 after the Indian variant was tracked to Bolton

Residents living in and around Needham Market are reminded that the mobile service offering PCR tests for coronavirus will close at 6pm on Saturday, May 29.

The unit was introduced on Saturday May 22 after a cluster of positive cases around the town and the nearby Wattisham Airfield was identified.

Of the 30 confirmed Suffolk Indian variant cases, 22 have been found in Mid Suffolk, five in West Suffolk and three in Ipswich.

At least two of the cases are in individuals with a Suffolk address but who have not been in the county during their infectious period – one from West Suffolk and one from Ipswich.

Stuart Keeble is director of Suffolk Public Health

Stuart Keeble is director of Suffolk Public Health - Credit: Suffolk County Council

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Stuart Keeble, director of Public Health for Suffolk, said: “The community response to coming forward and being tested has been excellent and we are extremely grateful for the support of the public.

“Identifying and stopping the spread of the virus is key and this programme of enhanced PCR testing for the Needham Market area has served its purpose well.”

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On Thursday, West Suffolk MP and health secretary Matt Hancock said the Indian variant could now be upwards of three quarters of new Covid cases in England. 

Mr Hanock added: "As we set out our roadmap we always expected cases to rise - we must remain vigilant."

The testing unit in Needham Market is at the former Mid Suffolk District Council offices off Hurstlea Road in Needham Market.

Testing is open between 9am to 6pm. People do not need to book an appointment.

Anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or requiring a PCR test after Saturday can get one in the usual way via local test centres or ordering a home testing kit via 119 or the Gov.UK website.

People without symptoms are encouraged to also test regularly using lateral flow device (LFD) which are widely available from pharmacies, schools and libraries in Suffolk and which can also be ordered via 119 or Gov.UK.

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