United Kingdom

Covid surge testing areas: Postcodes listed as tests urged for new mutation

Surge testing will take place in a number of new areas across Britain as authorities attempt to get a grip on rising numbers of new Covid variants. Door-to-door testing was announced earlier this month as a response to multiple cases of the South African and UK coronavirus variants being recorded around the country. Express.co.uk has compiled a full list of all postcodes where surge testing will be conducted after new areas were today added.

Further Covid testing is being deployed in Lambeth, south London, where the South African variant has been found.

The surge testing and genomic sequencing will be conducted in the SE27 0, SE27 9 and SW16 2 postcodes.

This type of testing is aimed at helping officials understand the new and emerging Covid variants better and adjust measures to prevent the spread of the variants.

People living within these areas are being urged to take a Covid-19 test this week, whether they are showing symptoms or not.

READ MORE: Can you get a free NHS Covid test if you must travel abroad?

A new study released yesterday showed the new E484K mutation seen in the South African variant may prove resistant to the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

This prompted South Africa to halt the use of this vaccine in the country.

The South African Government had intended to deliver the vaccine to healthcare workers, after receiving a million doses produced by the Serum Institute of India last week.

However, South Africa’s health minister Zweli Mkhize said as the South African variant is currently accounting for more than 90 percent of Covid cades in the country, it was best to pause the use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine for now.

Speaking in an online briefing Mr Mkhize said: “The AstraZeneca vaccine will remain with us, up until the scientists give us clear indications as to what we need to do.”

READ MORE: Covid surge testing areas EXTENDED: Full list of postcodes

Health Secretary Matt Hancock discussed testing strategies in the House of Commons on Tuesday, February 9.

He said: “Our strategy to tackle new variants has four parts.

“First, the lower the case numbers here, the fewer new variants we get.

“So the work to lower case numbers domestically is crucial.

“Second, as I set out to the House last week, is enhanced contact tracing, surge testing and genomic sequencing.

“We are putting this in place wherever a new variant is found in the community – like in Bristol, Liverpool and, as of today, Manchester.

“Third, is the work on vaccines to tackle variants, as set out yesterday by Professor Van-Tam.

“And fourth, health protection at the border to increase our security against new variants of concern arriving from abroad.”

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