Rapid Covid testing finds 103 asymptomatic cases in four weeks in Suffolk

Covid-19 rapid testing centres targeting people who unwittingly have the virus are to open in Haverhill and Lowestoft

Rapid Covid-19 tests have identified 103 positive cases in Suffolk in four weeks - Credit: Suffolk Resilience Forum

More than 100 positive Covid-19 cases have been identified in Suffolk as a result of asymptomatic rapid testing in the last month, according to health bosses.

It has prompted a fresh plea for people who are unable to work from home to make sure they get two rapid coronavirus tests a week as a matter of routine in order to help clampdown on the virus.

Data presented to Thursday's Suffolk Health and Wellbeing Board gathering of health chiefs revealed that in the last 28 days around 27,000 people had been tested at the county's 28 lateral flow test sites.

Those tests found 103 positive cases - people without any of the Covid-19 symptoms who would not otherwise have been identified, and who were subsequently able to self-isolate to prevent any further spread.

Around 9,000 tests in the last seven days alone found nine positive cases.

Mobile coronavirus testing centres have been put in place across the county. Picture: SARAH LUCY BRO

Suffolk now has 28 Covid-19 rapid testing centres - Credit: Archant

Dr Mashbileg Maidrag, consultant in public health and clinical lead for testing in Suffolk, said: "One in three of us have the virus and have no symptoms, therefore there is a high risk we could be exposing others and could be infectious. Asymptomatic testing is really important to detect the cases at an early stage.

"In the last 28 days, 27,000 people have been tested and we have identified 103 people. This is very much a good example of those who have the virus but don't know they have because they have no symptoms.

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"They have been identified and been advised to stay home along with family members. That is the way we can stop the transmission.

"Cases are dropping which is good news, but at the same time with the vaccines we need to be re-enforcing this message that all of us need to be regularly tested - that is the only way we can identify the virus."

Tests are free and slots can either be booked in advance by phone or online, or people can walk-in at one of the county's 28 centres.

The process takes between five and 10 minutes, with results emailed or texted around half an hour later.

Government advice urges people unable to work from home to get tested twice a week so that the virus transmission can be identified and halted as quickly as possible.

More information and the full list of centres is available online here.