South Africa variant found in Brentwood, Essex: All residents told ‘get tested now’

Boris Johnson on plans to 'protect everyone' with mass testing

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Targeted testing will be offered to residents in the CM13 postcode in Brentwood after one case of the South African variant was detected. It is the latest deployment of surge testing in England in a bid to control and suppress the potential spread of virus variants.

A spokesman for the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said: “Working in partnership with the local authority, additional testing and genomic sequencing is being deployed to the CM13 postcode in Brentwood Essex, where a single case of the Covid-19 variant first identified in South Africa has been found.”

Surge testing has now been deployed in specific locations across numerous areas in England including Hampshire, Bristol and Walsall. 

Sequencing of positive PCR tests – swabs that are processed in a laboratory – can take around two weeks, according to Public Health England.

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