In Bedford there has been at least 80 confirmed cases of the Indian variant and case rates have more than doubled in the week up to the 13 May to over 2,300.
The government has said that the variant is affecting mainly the under-40s, who are largely unvaccinated, but it is a
The Indian variant is a huge concern for people working in schools as it is spreading fast amongst younger people who have not yet been vaccinated.
The Bedford Academy has had 50 confirmed Indian variant cases just this half term alone and as a result some 300 people are now having to self-isolate.
Head teacher Chris Deller told Sky News, “We’ve had upwards of 45 cases over the last five weeks… Lots of the students that we’re concerned about are not having any symptoms at all, which is the main worry because it’s jumping from family, one from the other, and we can’t really track and trace that effectively… So it’s really, really difficult for us.”
Deller further said there are huge concerns for members of the staff at the Academy as those who are in their thirties and below have not been vaccinated yet.
The government said there is evidence to suggest vaccines do work against the variant and surge vaccinations are now taking place to target younger age groups in areas with high cases numbers.
Sage warned there is a “realistic possibility” that the Indian variant could be “50% more transmissible,” which could lead to the NHS being overwhelmed within weeks.
A report from a meeting of the government’s scientific advisers warned that “an even faster increase can be expected if measures are relaxed.”