Home Business News Health chief warns North has a ‘rapid rise’ of Indian variant

Health chief warns North has a ‘rapid rise’ of Indian variant

20th May 21 11:02 am

The Health Secretary Matt Hancock told MPs on Wednesday the Indian variant of cases has now reached almost 3,000 in the UK.

Public Health England (PHE) has warned that there is a “rapid rise” in the Indian variant in the North of England.

Hancock said yesterday that surge testing and vaccinations will start at Hounslow in London, North Tyneside, Leicester, Bedford, Burnley and Kirklees.

Andrew Furber, the regional director of PHE in the North West told Sky News, “We are seeing a rapid rise in cases in Bolton and in Blackburn, and we are now seeing a spread further afield to Burnley.

“So we are beginning to see it spread much further throughout the North West.”

Furber said in these areas testing and vaccinations have been “turbo-boosted,” but warned they would have to have people “literally in their thousands” turn up to get the vaccine.

The health chief added, “We do need to learn to live with this virus.

“We will have this virus circulating in the autumn, into the winter, through to the spring next year.”

Scientists warned Boris Johnson that the current vaccination surge may not be enough to stop the Indian variant from spreading across the UK.

The vaccine surge strategy is designed to “buy as much time” as possible, scientists told Sky News, but warned it may not be fast enough to stop the spread of the Indian variant across the UK which could bring other dangers.

A scientific advisor told Sky News, “It might take three to four weeks to immunise Bolton, but the epidemic has been doubling every week.

“So just using vaccination may not be enough to contain it, meaning you may actually have to put places into lockdown.”

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