People who live in the SO15 5 area of Southampton are being encouraged to get tested for the virus after the South African variant of Covid-19 has been discovered.
Members of the health sector have stated that the variant cannot be linked to international travel, suggesting that the virus is already widespread within the UK. So far, there have been 170 confirmed cases of the South African variant present in the UK. While it is not confirmed that it is more deadly, there are speculations that this variant is able to spread more rapidly than previous strains.
Due to the variant being found in the SO15 5 area, people over the age of 16 who live in this area are being advised to get tested in an attempt to stall the spread and ensure the safety of the public. A list of the areas can be found here.
When discussing this discovery, the Director of Public Health at Southampton City Council, Dr Debbie Chase, stated: ‘Contact tracing of the individual has taken place and I would like to reassure people that there is no cause for alarm. […] While essential travel to work, school, and shopping can still take place in line with government guidance, I would urge everyone in the identified area, and indeed across the city, to stay at home where possible, limit your contact with others, and follow the hands, face, space guidance.’