Surge testing has been ramped up in London as another case of the South African variant has been found in Southwark.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said on Wednesday that testing has been ramped up in a “targeted area” within the SE16 postcode in Southwark.
The South African variant was discovered in the Rotherhithe ward area and door to door testing is being conducted, said Southwark Council.
Khan is urging Londoners, “If you’re asked to take a PCR test, it’s crucial that you do so to help track and limit any cases.”
At Deal Porter Square a mobile testing site has been set up where residents can collect and drop off home testing kits from Canada Water Library Theatre.
Director of Public Health at Southwark Council, Sangeeta Leahy said, “We understand that this could be concerning news, but there is no cause for alarm.
“We are delivering COVID-19 tests to residents in a defined area so that we identify how far, if at all, the variant has spread.
“This variant of Covid-19 may be more easily passed between people, so please take a test if we ask you to by letter.
“As businesses and venues start to re-open, it is also important that we all continue to follow the current rules on social distancing and meeting with people from outside our household.”
Surge testing is also being carried out in Lambeth and Wandsworth as there has been “significant” confirmed cases.
A scientist who advises the government has warned that the South African variant which is spreading in London is “not good news.”
Speaking to Newsnight, Professor Openshaw said, “A lot of we scientists are very concerned about what’s happening at the moment.
“I think we’re all just hoping that the staged reduction in lockdown is going to be ok. It is being done reasonably cautiously but I think this is not good news.
“If we get rapid spread of the South African or other more resistant variants, it may well be that we are going to have to put the reductions of lockdown into reverse.”
Chief Medical Adviser for NHS Test and Trace, Dr Susan Hopkins, said, “Around 1 in 3 people with Covid-19 don’t show any symptoms.
“By taking part you can protect yourselves and your loved ones and help us identify any possible new cases that would otherwise be missed, preventing further transmission and saving lives.”