Latest data from Public Health England (PHE) shows that the Indian double variant is now extremely prevalent in Bolton.
PHE are trying to attempt to control the spread of the new strain and three sub types pf the “double variant” has doubled to 520 cases this last week compared to 202 the week before.
PHE have labelled the strain B.1617.2 as a “variant of concern” as indications show that this variant is more “transmissible.”
PHE warned that most of the cases are prevelant in Bolton and in London, and almost half of the cases were related to a contact with a traveller or related to travel.
Dr Susan Hopkins, Covid-19 strategic response director at PHE said, “We are monitoring all of these variants extremely closely.
“We have taken the decision to classify this as a variant of concern because the indications are that this VOC-21APR-02 is a more transmissible variant.”
Enhanced contract tracing will be carried out in some areas of Bolton as the town has recorded the highest infection rate in the country.
Cases are continuing to rise and door-to-door testing is being carried out in the boroughs of Rumworth, Deane and Great Lever.
Cases of Covid were up by 78% compared to the previous week, which saw in the seven days to 3 May just 89 cases per 100,000 population.
Bolton Council’s director of public health, Dr Helen Lowey said, “There is no evidence these variants cause more severe illness, there is some evidence that the Indian variant spreads more easily than other Covid-19 variants so it is the one that we want to stop and contain.
“We are working closely with our partners across the community to identify people who have the virus, to increase the numbers of our eligible residents having the vaccine and to remind us all that Covid has not gone away.
“These measures are designed to bring the virus under control, but there are basic things we can all do to stop Covid spreading. Wash your hands regularly, wear a face covering, maintain social distancing, keep areas well ventilated and take up the vaccine when it is offered.”