Indian covid variant: 17 cases of variant of concern identified in Central Bedfordshire as number of coronavirus cases rises
The council leader is urging everyone to take extra care
Seventeen cases of the 'Indian' covid variant of concern have been identified in Central Bedfordshire as coronavirus cases have risen this week.
The Leader of Central Bedfordshire Council, Councillor Richard Wenham has today (May 18) urged everyone in the area to take extra care as the number of Covid-19 cases has risen this week.
Across the UK, this variant has risen from 520 to 1,313 cases in the UK last week including a significant number more locally in Bedford.
Councillor Wenham said: "In the last week, the number of new cases in Central Bedfordshire had risen to 86 by Monday with final figures still to come (we had 54 cases the week before).
"We also know 17 cases so far have been confirmed as the Indian Variant in Central Bedfordshire.
"While infection levels in Central Bedfordshire are not at the same level as Bedford or other areas of the country there is absolutely no room for complacency.
"Evidence suggests that this variant might be more transmissible than previous variants, so I am urging everyone to take extra care now to control the spread and prevent a serious outbreak here in Central Bedfordshire.
"As well as being more transmissible, it looks like the variant is mostly affecting people under 40 years of age, including school children so this really does need everyone to be careful.
"There is no evidence that the new variant is resistant to the vaccine, so it’s even more important that you take up the offer of vaccination when it is available to you.
"Despite the easing of lockdown, we must not drop our guard. Hands, face, space remain essential and meeting other people outside remains the safest option. If you have to meet up indoors, make sure the place is well ventilated and don’t spend too long inside.
"Another important thing we can all do easily is get tested before you go anywhere you will come into contact with others. If you are going to the pub, a friend's house, a restaurant or the gym take a rapid test before you go.
"Rapid tests are easy to do yourself and you can get them from our mobile testing sites, from local pharmacies or order them online to be delivered to you. They are free and easy to do, and you get a result in 30 minutes.
"Finally, if you have any symptoms at all, please book a PCR test. If you don’t have a continuous cough, temperature or loss of sense of taste or smell you can still book a test by selecting “I’ve been told to get a test by my local council”.
"Please help by sharing this advice with your friends and family so that together we will all control the virus and stay safe."