London Indian variant rate: Which areas have cases of new variant?

Jeremy Vine panel clash over COVID-19 case spikes

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Cases of the Indian variant have been growing across the UK amid fresh concerns it could delay the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown. Cases have been detected in London, and new data shows an 80 percent rise in cases across the capital over the past week.

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Variant B.1.617.2 has only been in the UK for a few weeks, but it has already become dominant in some areas.

Public Health England revealed yesterday that now 3,424 cases have been detected, up from 2,111 the previous week.

In the northwest, the Greater Manchester borough of Bolton and Blackburn have seen a surge in cases, as well as some areas of London.

A breakdown reveals 720 cases of the variant have been recorded in London, up from 400 the previous week.

Surge testing has been deployed in some areas of the capital in an effort to clamp down on the spread.

Cases in the capital are largely thought to be linked to people returning from India in recent weeks, where the strain is currently out of control.

It is thought most cases are passed on to close contacts of those infected and in community transmission is not currently thought to be high.

Which areas are the worst affected?

Hounslow is currently the worst affected area in London, where second jabs are being brought forward from 12 to eight weeks.

There were 153 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the west London borough in the week to May 15, a seven-day rate of 56.3 infections per 100,000 people, a rise of 28.6 on the previous week.

Elsewhere, Hillingdon has also seen a rise in cases of the variant as well as the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

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Dalston and Shoreditch in Hackney have also recorded cases of the variant.

Dr Meera Chand, the COVID-19 incident director at Public Health England, said it was essential for those in the worst-affected areas who had yet to receive their second dose of the vaccine to come forward as soon as it is offered.

She said: “This is vitally important in the light of our current assessment that (B1.617.2) has grown rapidly in England and may be highly transmissible.

“PHE will continue to monitor all variants closely, paying particular attention to the impact on hospitalisations and deaths which will help us to understand the protective effects of the vaccine.”

The London regional director for Public Health England (PHE), Professor Kevin Fenton, said: “Rates of COVID-19 in London are low overall but we are continuously assessing local situations and will act early and decisively where necessary.

“As part of the latest review, surge testing and increased vaccination is being mobilised in Hounslow to help us track the spread of this variant, reduce the risk of further transmission and get vaccine protection to more residents, more quickly.”

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “I urge everyone who lives, studies or works in Hounslow to take a test as soon as you are invited to, in order to monitor and suppress the spread of the virus, and for all those invited to accept their vaccine as soon as you are offered it to ensure you are protected.”

Hounslow’s director of public Health Kelly O’Neill said: “There is no immediate cause for serious concern, but equally this is not a time for complacency.

“If we are to prevent further infection rate rises, we need all residents to become part of the solution and get vaccinated.”

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