South Africa and Indian Covid variants found in Shoreditch and Dalston
- Credit: PA
Targeted Covid-19 variant testing is taking place in parts of Dalston and Shoreditch after two Covid-19 variants were found in the areas.
Hackney council urges every resident over 16 who lives or works in the affected areas to get a Covid-19 PCR test, even if they do not have symptoms, to help stop the spread of the variants in the community.
These areas include parts of Shoreditch, around Old Street and Great Eastern Street; and parts of Dalston town centre, around Dalston Lane and Kingsland High Street.
Residents living in those areas can get a test by visiting a nearby centre in Bentley Road Car Park or the Geffrye Community Hall on Falkirk Street without needing to book.
Dr Sandra Husbands, Director of Public Health for Hackney Council, said the PCR tests are processed in a lab where scientists can check if someone tests positive to a variant of concern.
She added: "Viruses constantly change through mutation, which can make them spread more easily, be more dangerous to us or mean our treatments are not as effective.
Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville, who lives in one of the affected areas, added: “I know this will be worrying for some; but this additional testing is a vital further step in our work to keep Hackney safe. I will be getting my PCR test and urge others to do the same."
He said businesses in the area remain open and are safe to visit.
All people already identified with the variant strains have or are now self-isolating and contact tracing has taken place.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to lead a press conference today as concerns about the more virulent Indian variant grow.
To find out if you live in the affected areas visit hackney.gov.uk/test
Other test sites can be found at hackney.gov.uk/coronavirus-support
Home PCR tests can also be ordered by calling: 119 (people with hearing or speech difficulties can call 18001 119); or by visiting www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/.