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People in Birmingham warned South African variant spreading

by LLB political Reporter
2nd Feb 21 4:10 pm

Public Health for Birmingham have warned that the new South African variant could be spreading across the region.

The more infectious and transmissible variant of Covid also has a “higher rate of hospitalisation,” and mass testing is being ramped up following a positive case in Walsall.

Dr Justin Varney, director of Public Health Birmingham warned the South African variant has most likely spread beyond Walsall.

At a meeting of regional leaders discussing vaccinations, Dr Varney said, “Walsall is the first, there will be others in the West Midlands I’m sure.

“In order to contain the South African variant we really need to identify every case as quickly as possible and to contain the spread.”

He added, “We defend best by being able to identify these variations of concern. I’m sure there will be more of that this week as we start to see these cases appear across the country.”

West Midlands Mayor, Andy Street said the variant was “caught very early” and that he hopes mass testing can drive it out.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock told MPs in the House of Commons on Tuesday that a number of “mutations of concern” have been found in Bristol and Liverpool.

Hancock said that 32 cases were found in Liverpool with 11 in Bristol of coronavirus mutations. This comes after the more transmissible South African variant is spreading in parts of the UK.

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